GLEN RIDGE, NJ – Steve Trivino has been named the new head football coach at Glen Ridge High School.
Trivino spent the past four seasons as the associate coach at Chatham High School. He was named the Northwest Jersey West Athletic Conference Coach of the Year by NJSportAction following the 2015 season when the team reached the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state final.
Glen Ridge youth football coaches Jim Vigna and Dave Manzo were part of the hiring process with GRHS Athletic Director Tim Liddy.
In an email to The Glen Ridge Paper, Vigna said they received about 15 applications, which was cut down to eight qualified candidates who were interviewed. Out of that group, they narrowed it down to three finalists, all of whom would have been great choices, Vigna wrote.
“During the final interviews, it became apparent that Steve Trivino was the right guy to be the Head Coach of GRHS football,” Vigna wrote. “Steve has a lot of plans to grow the program from the youth level through high school.”
Trivino was scheduled to meet with the youth players and parents during a meeting on April 12 at the GRHS cafeteria.
Trivino replaces Duke Mendez, who retired at the end of the season last fall. In two stints, Mendez served a total of 26 seasons as the head coach of the Ridgers (1985-1995 and 2003-2017).
This past season, the Ridgers qualified for the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 state playoffs, losing to Roselle Park in the quarterfinals to finish with a 6-4 record, their best record since 2010 when they went 8-2.
Trivino was an assistant coach at Caldwell High School for 25 years. He was the head coach at Newark Academy in Livingston for two seasons and the head coach at Dayton in Springfield for another two seasons before going to Chatham.
Trivino and his staff, indeed, are looking forward to coaching at Glen Ridge.
“I’m really excited,” Trivino said in an telephone interview with The Glen Ridge Paper. “We are really excited to work with Tim Liddy. Tim has really painted a great picture of Glen Ridge athletics as a whole, and I know a lot about it. I’m an Essex County guy; I’ve coached at Caldwell for 25 years. I moved around for the last few years, but when I saw the Glen Ridge opening… I was really excited.”
Trivino got a chance to meet with the seniors-to-be, including captains Tyler Strong, Sim Low and Kyle Koblinski. Trivino said he and the players talked about tradition and some things that they would like to keep in Glen Ridge. Trivino also said he met some parents of the youth football teams, looking to foster a strong relationship between the high school and youth teams.
“That’s the number one thing; I want to get a connection with the junior program and get a real continuity between the two programs,” Trivino said. “I think that’s essential to winning football in Glen Ridge.”
Trivino praised Mendez for building up and keeping the GRHS football program in great shape.
“I can’t say enough good things about Duke Mendez,” Trivino said. “He has done an unbelievable job. I’m not taking over for a guy who had a downtrodden program; I’m taking over for a guy who really worked his tail off and got the most out of his players. These kids know what hard work is and they know what it means to be disciplined and that’s going to be the easy part.”
In terms of his playing philosophy, Trivino likes an attacking style on both sides of the ball, particularly on defense in which he has a plan that he calls “control chaos.”
“We like to fly over the field, and the kids are excited about it,” Trivino said.