NEWARK — Newark’s Catholic Athletic Department returns to a familiar face in an hour of need.
The school announced Wednesday afternoon that it has reinstated Ryan Aiello as head football coach for at least the upcoming 2022 season. Aiello previously resigned last winter after leading the Green Wave to the Division VII final.
Aiello coached NC for four seasons. He submitted his resignation in February, citing a desire to spend more time with his family and pursue other career opportunities.
“Newark Catholic has been through a lot in the past year and that has to be acknowledged,” said Aiello. “I resigned because of my family and to take a slightly different direction professionally. Given everything that has happened since that decision, there was a common interest for us to give back. There are a few things that I have professionally I can commit to going into this fifth year to continue my pursuit.”
NC previously hired Paul Cronin in March. Cronin is a legendary coach in California who has guided Cardinal Newman for two decades.
However, NC called on Cronin to hand in his resignation earlier this month, stating in a letter to his community: “The school has been made aware of an incident involving conduct by Mr. Cronin that constitutes a breach of Mr Cronin represented.”
“One of the good things about my time at Newark Catholic was that I’ve been fortunate to form great relationships with teachers and families from an administrative perspective,” said Aiello. “Obviously, after the events, talks started very quickly. At that point, I had to weigh my options and what might happen to ensure I was still making progress towards my professional goals while also aligning myself with Newark’s Catholic interests and interests and seeking out for the children.”
The school added Aiello will continue to serve as director of the student union and as a health and physical education teacher. Much of Aiello’s coaching staff had stayed with NC and oversaw off-season training.
Three months ago, Aiello wasn’t expecting to be on the sidelines when NC host Bishop Ready at White Field on August 20. His focus is suddenly back on leading the Green Wave in their quest for a Division VII state championship in 2022.
“Of course we’ll look at this for another year,” Aiello said. “Nothing is set in stone. We are working to move forward with the one year mindset but obviously I didn’t expect that to happen. I can never say never to anything.”