Among the likes of legendary coaches from Bergen Catholic such as Fred Stengel, Joe Dionisio and Chris J. Donfield, head wrestling coach David Bell will become the fourth Crusaders' coach to be named to the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association (NJSCA) Hall of Fame.
On Tuesday, Bell along with 34 other coaches from around the state were inducted into the NJSCA Hall of Fame "Class of 2012". The 35 coaches represent 32 public and two parochial NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) member schools.
Under the direction of Bell for the past 14 years, Bergen Catholic wrestling has continued to grow and improve. From three state championships, 10 league and 14 district titles, and nine county titles (eight consecutive years in a row from 1998 to 2007), the Crusaders program has become one of the top teams in the state.
He has won over 200 matches during his time with the Crusaders.
“It's an honor to see so many of our coaches chosen to join this admirable group," NJSIAA Executive Director Steve Timko said to the Star Ledger. “On and off the field, these role models have worked to shape our youth and enrich the future of so many student-athletes. The 2012 Hall of Fame inductees are true examples of what every coach across the state should aspire to be."
To be included in the Hall of Fame, coaches first had to spend at least a decade in a head coach-level position, display strong ethics and integrity along with exceptional coaching skills.
Also representing Bergen County to be inducted into the 2012 Hall of Fame were: Tom Curry (Dwight-Englewood), Lori DeLuca (Lyndhurst), Joan Lord (Rutherford), posthumously John E. McLaughlin Jr. (Garfield), Janet Molino (Ramsey), Bill Morrow (Westwood), Tom Quinn (Old Tappan), William Schroen (Lodi), Jim Stroker (Ridgewood) and Anthony Zorovich (Tenafly).
Donfield (basketball) was the first Crusaders coach to be inducted in to the Hall of Fame back in 2000; Stengel (football) followed suit in 2007, and Dionisio (basketball) was added in 2011 after his final season with the Crusaders.