About the Coaches
John Hack, Head Coach
Coach Hack enters his fourth season as the Head Football Coach at Morris Catholic. Hack is also a member of the Executive Leadership Team at Morris Catholic in his role as Chief Advancement Officer. Coach Hack brings great energy and strong experience as he looks to continue to restore glory to the proud Crusader Football Tradition. 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 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. Coach resigned a few weeks after the season.
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. Under Coach Hack, the program has compiled 11 wins in three seasons, which is more than the previous five combined, and are looking for a breakout year in 2018. This year's theme of Rise Up, points to the level in which we expect our young men to conduct themselves, as well as the next step we are taking with our program. Our scripture verse for 2018, the popular Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me," instills confidence in each member of our program.
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 chidren, Julia, Johnny, and Gianna, reside in Chester and belong to Saint Lawrence RC Church.
Patrick Vogelsang, Offensive Coordinator; Quarterbacks; Linebackers
Coach Vogelsang enters his second year at the controls of the Crusader offense. Additionally, Coach serves as the Director of Transportation and as a Physical Education teacher, as well as Head Golf Coach and is an Assistant Hockey Coach. Coach Vogelsang joined the Morris Catholic community from Zephyrhills High School outside of Tampa, Florida where he was the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. Prior to that he served as an Offensive Assistant at Florida Tech (Collegiate Division II) working with the Offensive Line and Tight Ends.
Coach Vogelsang came to Florida Tech from Bayside High School in Palm Bay, Florida where he was the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. He also coached baseball at Heritage High School in Palm Bay and was an assistant on the first playoff team in school history. Preceding his move to the Sunshine State, he was the Special Teams Coordinator and JV Head Coach at Riverside High School in Charleston, West Virginia. While at Riverside, he also became the Interim Head Baseball Coach, leading the school to its first ever Regional Championship and then the 3A baseball State Championship game. Patrick also served as the Special Teams Coordinator at Washington Union in Fresno, California, helping lead the team to a finish as the 2011 California Division 3 State Champions. His coaching career started at Golden West High School in Visalia, California. Coach Vogelsang played football and roller hockey at San Pasqual High School in Escondido, California and graduated from Fresno State with a degree in History. He is an avid skier and a fan of the Texas Longhorns, Tampa Bay Lighting, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, and Celtic Soccer Club.
Kyle Cleffi, Special Teams Coordinator; Defensive Backs; Hybrids
Coach Kyle Cleffi is entering his second season as part of Coach Hack's staff. He did a fantastic job in year one as Special Teams Coordinator and this year he will be the lead guy with Defensive Backs and the Hybrids (Te's, H-backs, Etc.). 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 to Morris Catholic staff coaching quarter backs 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 and made his way back to MC.
Coach Cleffi graduated 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 unified bowling and girls spring track teams. He and his wife A’ndrea were married in March of 2018 and they are currently residing in Parsippany New Jersey.
Ryan Connolly, Offensive Line; Defensive Line
Ryan Connolly, entering his second season on the Crusader football staff, was a graduate from Morris Catholic in 2011. While at Morris Catholic, he played football and lacrosse starting on varsity for three seasons for both teams while serving as one of the team captains as a senior. He attended William Paterson University where he continued his football career on the offensive line as a starter for three seasons and was part of the leadership council. In his final semester at William Paterson, he helped coach the defensive line with former NFL first round pick, Tony Woods.
Outside of football, he studied exercise science and graduated from William Paterson University in 2016. Ryan has experience training athletes to help prepare them for their upcoming season, and still does it to this day.
John Hack, Sr., Staff Assistant; Running Backs
Coach Hack, Sr. is entering his second season as a member of the Crusaders football staff. John, a devout Catholic, and dedicated family man, who 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, drives cancer patients to their chemotherapy treatments, 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, Wide Receivers; Defensive Backs
Coach Kevin Finley will be coaching wide receivers in his initial season at Morris Catholic. He comes to us off a season working as the Offensive Coordinator at his alma mater, North Arlington. In al,l Coach Finley has ten years of coaching experience, including stints at St. Mary’s in Rutherford and North Arlington High School. Coach FInley will also assist with defensive backs this season. Finley resides in Sparta with his wife Nicole and children Kade and Carsyn, and is a New Jersey State Trooper.
Shawn Dwyer, Offensive Line; Defensive Line; JV
Shawn Dwyer enters his initial season on the Crusaders coaching staff and will assist with both the offensive and defensive lines as well as the JV program. 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 Immaculata and Bound Brook over the course of the last three seasons. He has settled on a career which will allow him to coach with Coach Hack at Morris Catholic. Shawn has recently become a corrections officer. Dwyer resides in Somerville.
George Steel, Running Backs; Linebackers; JV
The 2018 season will be Coach Steel's fifth season with the Crusaders. He rejoins the program after a season away. George has been coaching football at all levels since 1976, highlighted by his time at Morris Catholic as well as his over 15 years at Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, where he was part of the 2004 Parochial Group II state championship staff. Coach served as the Offensive Line coach at Hudson Catholic in 2010.
Married 32 years to Pauline, Steel and Pauline have three children, Scott (31), Ryan (27) and Patricia (25) and two grandchildren, Ryan Jr (12) and Brysen (4). George and Paulin reside in Kearny. Coach Steel is a graduate of Kearny High School in 1967, and of Williamson Tech in Pennsylvania in 1970. Coach retired from the engineering industry as a designer after 40 years in 2010.
Jason Denburg, Assistant to the Coaching Staff
Coach Jason Coach Denburg is the assistant to the coaching staff, and helps out with nutrition and injured players when needed. He's been with Morris Catholic since 2015. Coach Denburg works at a country club in Bedminster, Fiddler's Elbow. Coach Jason and his co-workers work in a team like atmosphere, and Coach Denburg wants to bring that team like atmosphere to Morris Catholic.