John Hack: Head Coach, Wide Receivers:
Coach Hack enters his sixth season as the Head Football Coach at Morris Catholic. Hack is also a member of the Executive Leadership Team at Morris Catholic and has transitioned to the role of Athletic Director. Coach Hack brings great energy and has established a culture that is one of the finest anywhere in the country.
Coach came to Morris Catholic via Immaculata High School. John played his high school ball there where he was team captain and a third-team all-state all teams lineman. Subsequently, Hack played his college ball at Saint Peter's University, and was a member of the 2001 team that went 10-1 and was inducted into the university's Hall of Fame.
Hack's college career was marred by injuries, but he used the physical setbacks as a boost to get into the arena of coaching. After suffering three consecutive season-ending injuries as a sophomore, junior, and senior, Hack helped the coaching staff break down film, make scouting reports, recruit, and was given a headset on game-day. This started his coaching career. In the classroom, Hack shined most and was named the co-valedictorian of his graduating class in 2004. After college, Hack immediately started his coaching career at his alma mater, Immaculata. From 2004-2012 Hack served as the Defensive Line Coach and concurrently ran the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Immaculata. In 2007, John married his beautiful bride, Katie, and also became the Special Teams Coordinator. Simultaneously, Hack was developing his career as a financial advisor at Nationwide Financial. In 2009, Hack became the Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations at Immaculata and started his own firm, Hack Financial.
In 2013, Coach Hack became the second head football coach in the history of Immaculata at the age of 31. Coach helped navigate the school through some rocky times and was able to have some "juice" wins over Hunterdon Central and Phillipsburg in 2013, both of whom went on to win the state championship. Hack was named FCA's Huddle Coach of the Year in 2013. Hack took a very young team on a very improbable Playoff run. A season when they lost four games in the final minutes, the young team found it's stride and knocked off Hudson Catholic, before losing a heartbreaker to eventual champ DePaul Catholic 34-33 in 2OT.
During his time at Immaculata, Hack either played or coached in six state championships, winning one as an assistant coach in 2007, beating Delbarton for a perfect 12-0 record. Urged by his wife, Hack met with Morris Catholic in late April of 2015 and fell in love with the school, the community, and the team. He cited the school's desire to be great, the strong leadership and the positive direction as to why he wanted to be a Crusader. Hack joined MC officially in June of 2015.
Since 2015, Coach Hack and his staff along with his players, have worked hard to entrench a culture consistent with the team's core values of FAITH, DISCIPLINE, TOUGHNESS, and HARD WORK. In 2015, the Crusaders finished 5-5, the first non-losing campaign this decade, as they won four of their last five contests. In 2016, the Crusaders picked up two wins while starting twice as many freshmen (6) as they had seniors (3) on the roster. In 2017, the Crusaders fell just short of .500 ending at 4-6, while winning two very exciting rare home night games. Again in 2018, MC finished 4-6, playing a terrific schedule. The season was highlighted by very exciting wins over Sussex Tech and Immaculate Conception, both times the Crusaders overcame two score deficits to win. Under Coach Hack, the program has compiled 15 wins in four seasons, which is a major improvement, but not the result he and his team are looking for.
Last season, in 2019, Hack led Morris Catholic to it’s first ever championship. The Crusaders posted a 7-4 record and captured the North Jersey Super Football Conference’s United Blue Division. All season long, the team spoke about “putting cloth” up on the banner in the gym for the first time. They accomplished that behind a great senior class (seven of which are playing college football) coupled with tremendous underclassmen, and a relentless staff. It all starts with culture and these young men bought in big-time.
2020 figures to be a special campaign with several returning starters and an influx of strong newcomers. The team will be successful if they live their core values, their Scripture passage of Joshua 1:9 (Be strong and courageous!), and their theme, As One! THis group is resilient, extremely hard-working, and has persevered throughout the pandemic. It is their time to create their own legacy!
Hack, who was born in Denville as one of six children, grew up as a family of eight in Berkeley Heights. He and his wife Katie, and their three children, Julia, Johnny, and Gianna, reside in Chester. Their children go to the School of Saint Elizabeth’s in Bernardsville and belong to Saint Lawrence RC Church.
Kyle Cleffi: Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks, Assistant Defensive Backs:
Coach Cleffi played his high school football at Roxbury High School, serving as the team’s quarterback for the 2003 season. After high school, he spent one year playing quarterback at DIII Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. The following year, Cleffi returned to Roxbury High School to coach freshman football, a post he held for two seasons. He then joined theMorris Catholic staff coaching quarterbacks and defensive backs for one season under Head Coach Greg Lusardi. From there, Cleffi’s career led him to Penn State University where he would spend two seasons as an intern assisting special teams.
After PSU, Kyle made his way back to Morris Catholic. In his fourth year Coach Cleffi will take over the offense after spending one year as the Special Teams’ Coordinator, and two years as Defensive Coordinator. In a short span, it is a nod to Kyle’s versatility, talent, work ethic, and diligence to have handled three separate coordinator positions.
Coach Cleffi graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Before attending Penn State, Coach was the drummer for Tragic Hero Records recording artist Nevada Rose. He now works in the special education department at Morris Knolls High School where he also serves as an assistant coach for the girl’s spring track team.
Kyle and his wife A’ndrea were married in March of 2018 and they are currently residing in Roxbury New Jersey with their son Journey who was born in May of 2020.
Mike Beach: Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers, Tight Ends:
Coach Mike Beach joins the Morris Catholic Football staff for his second tour of duty with the Crusaders in 2020. Coach Beach served as Head Football and Track Coach here in the late 90s. It is great to have Coach beach back. Coach is one of the most respected coordinators in NJ, and coupled with his strength and conditioning expertise, it is a real blessing to have added Coach Beach to a strong Crusader staff.
Mike is one of five brothers who played high school and college football. He graduated from Pope John High School and Upsala College, with a degree in Business
and Mathematics. Additionally Coach Beach played Running Back at both Franklin & Marshall College and Ramapo College.
Coach Beach has had a stellar career on the sidelines. Below are his coaching stops:
1982 - 1985 Pope John High School - Running Back and Defensive Back Coach
1986 - 1987 William Paterson College - Running Back and Quarterback Coach
1988 - 1989 SUNY Albany - Running Back Coach
1990 Colgate University - Head JV Coach, JV Offensive Coordinator
1991 - 1993 University of Pennsylvania - Varsity Running Back Coach
1994 - 1999 Morris Catholic High School - Head Football Coach
1994 Morris Catholic High School - Head Boys & Girls Indoor Track Coach
(Daily Record Girls’ Coach of the Year)
1995 - 1997 Morris Catholic High School - Head Boys Spring Track Coach
(1997 Daily Record Boys’ Coach of the Year)
2000 - 2018 Delbarton School - Defensive Coordinator
2003 - 2018 Delbarton School - Strength & Conditioning Coach
2019 Pope John High School - Defensive Coordinator
Coach Beach is married to Liz Bona, who is a former professional basketball player in Luxembourg, and is the current Girls’ Basketball Coach and Associative Athletic Director at Newark Academy. Mike and Liz reside in Wharton.
William "Bill" Chevalier: Special Teams Coordinator, Assistant Offensive/Defensive Line:
Bill Chevalier begins his third year as a member of the Morris Catholic coaching staff and will coordinate the special teams units. Coach did a great job last year shaping the division champion special team units.
Coach Chevalier was a three time all conference linemen for Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington and played collegiately at Saint Peter's University. During Coach Chevalier’s time at Saint Peters the football team enjoyed its most successful period in program history, which included the 2001 season that ended in a top national ranking and was followed by an induction into the Saint Peter's University Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career Coach Chevalier joined the staff at Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City where he coached the defensive line and special teams. As special teams coordinator Coach Chevalier oversaw standout units, which included the all county selection at kicker and punter each season. Also, during his time at Hudson Catholic the school was able to win its first conference championship in 25 years, qualified for the state playoffs each season, and was ranked in the top 20 in the state for the first time in school history.
Coach Chevalier is a realtor with Keller Williams and lives with his wife Erin and their two children Liam and Mara in Mount Tabor, New Jersey.
Mike Arakelian: Defensive Backs, Offensive Line:
Coach Mike Arakelian rejoined the Crusader football staff for his second tour of duty. Coach Arakelian has taken over both the Defensive Backfield and the Offensive Line this season. Common football practice is to put your best coach with the offensive line, and Coach Arakelian certainly can fit that lofty description. Coach “A” has a reputation for being thorough, fair, and is simply one of the best teachers in the state of NJ. He is a tremendous worker and his knowledge is second to none. We are thrilled to have him back.
Coach Arakelian attended Whippany Park High School where he started both at football and on the baseball diamond. He went on to play ball at Springfield College.
Mike joined Coch Lusardi’s staff at Morris Catholic and immediately became known for his attention to detail and his work ethic. When Coach Hack took over, Coach Arakelian stayed on board and quickly became his top assistant. Coach Hack attributes Coach Arakelian’s organizational skills and knowledge to helping him become a better coach.
In 2018 Coach Arakelian dipped his toe in college football, as he coached linebackers at Montclair State University. He decided to go back to school, and rejoined Coach Hack’s staff last year in a part-time role. Morris Catholic Football is so happy to have him back this year in an expanded role.
Coach Arakelian teaches PE at All Saint Academy in Parsippany where he also lives.
Elias Perez: Defensive Line, Assistant Offensive Line:
Coach Elias Perez is entering his second season as a Defensive Line Assistant Coach at Morris Catholic.
Coach Perez developed his passion for football at North Bergen High School where he was part of a state championship team. During his time at North Bergen Perez earned a team captain spot, was team MVP, became an all-county player, and was selected to play in the Robeson All-Star Football Classic.
Coach Perez eventually went on to play his college ball at Saint Peter’s University where he received a four-year academic scholarship. He played on the defensive line and was a member of the team that went 10-1 in 2001 and was eventually inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame.
Outside of football, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from Saint Peter’s and went on to a career in sales. He and his wife, MyChelle, currently reside in Rockaway with their two children Penny and Caleb.
Mark Barron: Assistant Wide Receivers, Defensive Backs; Kickers/Punters:
Mark Barron joined the coaching staff for the 2020 season while continuing with his coaching responsibilities for the MCHS Girls Varsity Basketball program since 2018. We are excited to welcome Mark in his role as assistant wide receiver coach, assistant defensive backs coach, as well as kicking and punting coach. Mark has shown great energy and dedication. He will also help with building mental toughness in our young men.
Mark was a three sport athlete at Vassar College and has enjoyed a commitment to fitness as a lifestyle and life-long focus. His coaching career started at the age of 21 and he has coached Girls and Boys Soccer, Baseball, Football and Basketball over the years.
A retired Brand manager for media entertainment and music companies, Mark competes each year in endurance races including Olympic Triathlons, 50 mile Bike races and recently reached the Summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. A father of three and married for 31 years, Mark and his family reside in Summit.
Stephen Lahoe: Running Backs, Assistant Linebackers:
Coach Lahoe was born and raised in Whippany, NJ. Stephen attended Morris Catholic and graduated in 2015. A Crusader football great, Stephen was a Four Year Varsity Letterman and Senior Captain of the 2014 team.
Coach continued his playing career at William Paterson. He is very proud to be a part of the 2016 team that snapped a 22 game losing streak to instate rival Montclair State.
Stephen enters his first season with the Crusaders on the sideline and he will be responsible for the Running Backs, a position which he starred at while at Morris Catholic. He will also assist with Linebackers. Coach Lahoe brings passion, devotion, pride, and a selfless attitude to our staff. Coach continues to live in Whippany.
John Hack, Sr.: Volunteer Assistant to the Coaching Staff:
Coach Hack, Sr. is entering his fourth season as a member of the Crusaders football staff. Coach Hack, Sr., beloved by the team, has helped in the crucial role of manning the loudspeaker to announce periods and keep the team on task. He provides victory donuts and sage advice as well as doing anything asked in the best way possible. He is also a spiritual leader on the team.
John, a devout Catholic, and dedicated family man, joined the MC football family following a long and distinguished career in the chemical industry. A chemical engineer by trade, Hack, a 1969 graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology, concluded his career at ExxonMobil, where he worked for over 30 years.
Retired life has brought no relaxation to Coach, as he volunteers to help us, serves at various soup kitchens in Elizabeth and Newark, participates in many ministries in his parish, and spends time with the love of his life, his wife, Marie. Marie and John reside in Berkeley Heights and have six children and eight grandchildren.
Kevin "Kip" Finley: Volunteer Assistant to the Coaching Staff:
Coach Kevin Finley will be transitioning to a volunteer assistant role this year, as he and his beautiful wife Nicole, welcomed their third child this spring, Charlee Lynn!
Coach FInley has done a great job coaching Running Backs and Defensive Backs last season. Before MC, Coach came to us off a season working as the Offensive Coordinator at his alma mater, North Arlington. In all, Coach Finley has twelve years of coaching experience, including stints at St. Mary’s in Rutherford and North Arlington High School.
Finley resides in Sparta with his wife Nicole and children Kade, Carsyn, and Charlee Lynn and is a dedicated New Jersey State Trooper.
Jason Denburg: Volunteer Assistant to the Coaching Staff:
Coach Denburg is a volunteer assistant and helps out with special teams and other areas where needed. Coach Denburg has been with Morris Catholic since 2015 as a volunteer coach. Coach Denburg likes working with the athletes and can’t wait for the upcoming seasons.
Shawn Dwyer: Volunteer Assistant to the Coaching Staff:
Shawn Dwyer enters his second full-time season on the Crusaders coaching staff and will assist when able as he recovers from an injury.
Shawn starred for Coach Hack at Immaculata where he was a part of one of the best defensive lines in the state. Shawn played one year at Kean University and then transferred to DeSales University where he played rugby and earned his degree in sports management. Dwyer has coached at both Immaculata and Bound Brook.
He has settled on a career which will allow him to coach with Coach Hack at Morris Catholic. Shawn is a corrections officer who resides in Somerville.