Oakcrest's new head coach has deep ties to school

Eric Anderson is the new football coach at Oakcrest High School, his hiring made official Monday night.

Oakcrest High School has a new head football coach.

It's a familiar face.

The Board of Education of the Greater Egg Harbor School District approved Eric Anderson as the coach Monday night.

Anderson has coached football at Oakcrest since 2002.

"It feels great," Anderson said. "I'm honored, humbled and excited."

In addition to his football experience, Anderson also is involved in the school's highly successful track and field program. He is the head coach of the boys indoor team that has won three state titles and an assistant for the outdoor team.

"I'm excited to continue to help the kids grow as young men," Anderson said, "and instill positive life lessons and develop a winning attitude on and off the field."

Anderson also has strong ties to the school. His father, Ron Anderson, graduated from Oakcrest in 1965 and coached football at Pleasantville. His mother, Donna, was the Oakcrest cheerleading coach from 1968-72. Anderson, 39, lives in Egg Harbor Township. He teaches health and physical education at Oakcrest.

"My family has deep roots at Oakcrest," Anderson said. "There is a huge sense of pride here. I've been a part of it already, but it seems more special now."

The Falcons finished 5-5 last season, losing in the first round of the South Jersey Group III playoffs to Pemberton. Coach Chuck Smith resigned in December and has since become the Mainland Regional coach.

The Falcons graduated 10 starters but will return some talented players, including quarterback Kendall Elliott and linebacker Yaier Hinton.

Anderson takes over at a time of great change for all Cape-Atlantic League football teams. The CAL is merging with the West Jersey Football League this fall. Oakcrest will play in the Independence Division of the West Jersey Football League. The Falcons will play crossover game against Buena Regional, Overbrook, Lower Cape May Regional and Highland Regional.

"I think it's neat," Anderson said of the CAL's merger with the WJFL. "I always welcome change. It will be interesting for every team to play some different teams that we only saw in the playoffs before."

Contact: 609-272-7185

Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

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I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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