New Glen Ridge HS head football coach Manj Singh excited to lead Ridgers

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GLEN RIDGE, NJ — After being named the new Glen Ridge High School head football coach recently, Manj Singh has felt much love and support from Ridger Nation.

“I really feel like I’m at home,” said Singh in a recent telephone interview with The Glen Ridge Paper. “There is a ton of support here in Glen Ridge. It’s a great place to be! It’s a great place to start a new tradition.”

Indeed, Singh is excited to embark on his first head coaching position. 

Singh came over from perennial powerhouse St. Joseph Regional in Montvale, where he served as the JV head coach and varsity defensive line coach.

A 1996 Montclair High School graduate, Singh began his coaching career with the highly successful youth programs in Montclair. He then coached in the Bloomfield Jr. Bengals youth program, before starting his high school coaching career at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, another parochial state powerhouse, as the freshman defensive coordinator.

Replacing Steve Trivino, who was at the helm for the past four seasons, Singh wants to build on the program’s tremendous progress. The Ridgers are coming off a 7-2 season. It marked the most wins in a season by a Ridgers team since 2010, when they went 8-2. 

Glen Ridge has competed in the Ivy White Division in each of the past two seasons. The Ivy divisions consist of lower-caliber teams that, unfortunately, are ineligible for the state playoffs.

“Last year, going 7-2, even though they were in the Ivy, I saw this as a challenge, but as a good challenge. Steve Trivino did a great job. The funny thing with Steve Trivino is that he is now at St. Joe’s as a vice principal and I’m moving over here to take his place as the head coach, so it’s kind of like we did a little bit of a swap. But he had a team that (was) well-oiled and ready to go. He graduated a few seniors that I wish I had an opportunity to coach. But I tell you right now, I have a feeling this team right here in Group 1, my goal is to get into the playoffs and get that (championship) ring. That’s the goal, and I think this team can do it.”

Singh has been impressed with the returning GRHS players.

“These players are tough; they are tough guys,” he said. “They are very smart, a very smart team, where I can put something together and they are going to (understand) right away. They are ready to work; they are ready to listen; they’re coachable. I think them wanting to play both sides of the ball, old-school ironman football, is tremendous. It speaks volumes about the character and the type of family that they come from, because when a kid wants to do more than one thing and more than one task, that tells me they come from good families. I’m not saying that there are bad families out there, but their work ethic is different, something that I am (familiar) with and comfortable with, coming from Montclair and dealing with the parochial families. They have that type of mentality.”

Because the weight room is under construction at Hurrell Field, the Ridgers are facing a tough challenge as they begin their summer workouts. However, Singh knows what it’s like to overcome adversity. When he was coaching at St. Joseph last year, the Montvale-based team did not have a field on which to play due to a June 2021 postgraduation fire that damaged their field. “Coach (Dan) Marangi and the SJR football (program) were able to find the fields to practice for the team,” said Singh. “I was part of the staff, and it was a learning experience for us all. Business was not as usual, but we found a way. 2020 Covid, 2021 no field! We found success as a staff led by Coach Marangi. I know with that experience, Glen Ridge (will find) the same success.”

Photos Courtesy of Manj Singh.