SOUTH BRUNSWICK – After stepping away from the helm of the South Brunswick High School football team three years ago, Joe Goerge will return as head football coach of the Vikings in 2022.
It was announced at the South Brunswick Township Board of Education Meeting on Jan. 6 that Goerge was hired to replace John Viotto, who announced in November that he was resigning as coach of the team.
From 2012-18, Goerge led South Brunswick to three state championships and a record of 63-17.
The homecoming with the Vikings was something Goerge would tell you he wasn’t anticipating after leaving his post in 2018. He was assistant coach at Matawan High School for a year and then went back to his old stomping grounds in Staten Island, New York, to lead the St. Joseph by the Sea High School football team for two seasons.
When Goerge saw that the South Brunswick coaching job was open, he jumped at the chance to coach the Vikings again
Now with his sons, Michael and Jason, joining him in his comeback to South Brunswick, Goerge said he is excited to coach the Vikings this upcoming season.
“It’s felt like a homecoming,” Goerge told centraljersey.com about his return to South Brunswick. “I’m excited to come back and coach. Both my sons are coming back. It’s an exciting opportunity.”
Goerge, who lives in Franklin, has had success coaching on the gridiron since getting into the coaching ranks in the early 1980s in Staten Island at Port Richmond High School.
He has won a total of five state championships in New Jersey and has 226 career head coaching victories.
There’s no doubt about his winning track record as a football coach, but Goerge said he is not looking at the past as he begins his second run with South Brunswick.
“It’s all about the future,” Goerge said. “The idea is to move forward and not live in the past. This is a different team with different players. I’m focused on helping this team get better and making this upcoming season a great one for the seniors.”
South Brunswick is coming off a 4-5 season and did not make playoffs in 2021. It’s the first losing season for the Vikings since 2009.
Goerge and the Vikings will have some key returners this fall. Quarterback Vincent Jardiullo will be back under center for his third year on varsity and receivers Damarion Potts and Khiri Summers, and running back Jacob Brokaw, are also expected to return to provide Goerge and the Vikings with the chance to have an explosive offense next season.
Goerge met with his squad for the first time on Jan. 19. In anticipation of the meeting, Goerge said he was looking forward to the chance to meet his players and get things rolling with the team’s offseason workout program.
Just like he did when took over the Vikings in 2012, the goal for Goerge and his coaching staff will be to create their own culture within the team this offseason.
That entails setting their own standards of play and instituting their coaching philosophies all offseason going into the summer when training camp begins, he said.
“We’re not changing culture. We’re creating a culture,” Goerge said. “We’re coming in to create our standards of expectations and teach our philosophies.”
Goerge helped build South Brunswick into a football powerhouse during first go around. He said he hopes to have similar success with Vikings in his second tenure and looks forward to interacting again with the South Brunswick community.
“The South Brunswick School District is really excellent,” Goerge said. “I had a great experience last time and I’m excited to work with the administration.”
Goerge’s second run with the Vikings will begin on Sept. 2 when South Brunswick takes on rival North Brunswick Township High School in its season opener.
The first home game back at South Brunswick for Goerge will be on Sept. 9 against Old Bridge High School.