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Dan Romano's athletic administration experience is at Bloomfield Tech, but he is a longtime assistant football coach and former standout player at James Caldwell High School and could very well be a person to turn to now that the Chiefs seek a new athletic director. (Photos by Bill Allen-NJSportAction.NET)

Lorenzo Sozio (left), who is the longtime athletic director at nearby Mount St. Dominic in Caldwell, could be a natural in terms of stepping over to the public school in town in order to take over the administration of the Chiefs' sports.

Joe Carollo (left), who etched a terrific resume as a defensive coordinator at Verona, and seen here with former all-state linebacker Carlo Calabrese, has most recently been the head football coach at New Providence. He lives in Caldwell and has the certificate to step in as AD. (Sideline Chatter file photo)

The proud Caldwell football program has brand new FieldTurf at Bonnel Field and lights for the first time for Friday night football as a new AD will step in to some exciting evenings as a new fall season nears. (Photo by Glenn Kross)

Intriguing Decision Time Nears
As Caldwell Needs AD Soon
By Steve Tober
For sidelinechatter.com

WEST CALDWELL- James Caldwell High School has brand new FieldTurf at historic Bonnel Field, lights to illuminate both the football and baseball complexes and plenty of fall athletes about to embark in their pre-season drills.

But, there is no new athletic director currently in place to lead the Chiefs in the days leading up to the 2016 autumn campaign as Rich Porfido has accepted a new AD job at Wayne Hills after 11 years of overseeing the Caldwell athletic programs leaving a void as far as who will plan and coordinate the daily happenings revolving around all the Chief teams.

What does Caldwell do in such a short time frame? There are intriguing candidates that should emerge in quick order, but does the school administration want to make a long-term decision now, or perhaps bring in an interim AD for four to six months in order to keep the schedules moving smoothly and the buses rolling in on a timely basis, perhaps even to just get through the fall season?

Depending on how Caldwell’s powers-that-be decide to act – and probably quickly in some manner in order to fill the post for some selected period of time – here are some people who could emerge now, or even later down the line as potential candidates for the job; or, there are at least names that come to mind due to their position in time both in or out of the school system, geographically where they currently reside, or perhaps with some genuine history associated with the Caldwell-West Caldwell school system in past years.

Another key factor in addition time accrued at other positions within a school system and pension considerations, is the apparent situation that Caldwell's AD position does not pay as well as some other nearby districts, and that could most certainly figure in as far as who comes in to take the job.

POSSIBLE SOLID CANDIDATES:

JOE CAROLLO- The former Verona Hillbillies defensive coordinator who did such a good job on Lou Racioppe’s coaching staff with the Carlo Calabrese and Chris Looney-led ‘Billies teams in the last decade, was most recently the head coach at New Providence where he was not rehired despite guiding the Pioneers to playoff berths in two of his three seasons at the helm. A Caldwell resident who reportedly has the credentials to step in as an AD right away, he could be a solid choice.

LORENZO SOZIO- The longtime AD at nearby Mount St. Dominic is also a local resident who has a wealth of experience guiding an all-girls athletic program, but has been around men’s sports as well as a former athlete, youth league coach and is a longtime high school observer with his work in the Super Essex Conference. Whether or not he would leave the Mount where he is also one of the state’s top softball coaches is open to conjecture, but he could be a natural at JCHS where he would get along well with coaches and administrative staff.

DAN ROMANO- The former Bloomfield Tech AD is Caldwell-born and bred, has played and has been a longtime coordinator for the Chiefs on Ken Trimmer’s football coaching staff. Always accessible and very visible as the AD at BT, Romano is now an assistant principal in the Essex Vo-Tech school, but is in the latter stages of his career in the school system there and a transition to Caldwell might be attractive for the veteran athletic administrator who would fit in quite comfortably at his high school alma mater if he indeed had a strong interest in the position at this point and time.

WOULD BE GREAT CHOICE BUT WON’T BE INTERESTED:

DAVE DOTY- People at Caldwell wish they could bring Doty back as AD since along with Kinnelon’s Scott Rosenberg and a few others, he is among the best athletic administrators in Morris County as he continues in his role as AD at Butler High School. Doty, who is a Princeton grad, is bright, efficient and very capable, but is now too far removed from JCHS where he was before leaving for other AD jobs, including at West Orange where a short-sighted Board of Education member (we’ve heard this sad tale before) did a hatchet job in terms of helping to force Doty out over some baseless issue. Now comfortably ensconced at Butler, Caldwell can only dream of bringing back this first-rate AD.

IN-HOUSE ABLE, BUT PROBABLY ALSO NOT INTERESTED:

STEVE TRIVINO- Like Romano at BT, Trivino has paid his dues as a longtime teacher and coach, and although he has not yet been an AD, he has the wealth of knowledge and an ability to lead plus multiple years put in as a successful head and assistant football coach at a number of schools, and as Caldwell’s first and only head swimming coach, while always teaching in his hometown. He has the personality and skill set to be a strong overseer of a high school’s sports programs; however, based on what the position entails and where he is in his career, his stepping in as AD at this point would be a long shot.

GOOD INTERIM CHOICES TO GO WITH:

TOM PENGITORE- The retired West Essex AD lives in West Caldwell and is still involved in different capacities in the SEC and other sports ventures. Well liked throughout the education industry by colleagues and coaches, ‘Peng’ could be an excellent choice to step in now and guide the Chiefs athletic programs for the next few months until a permanent selection could step in when 2017 rolls around.

JOHN PORCELLI- A terrific athletic director at both Montclair and Morristown, Porcelli is also retired but still energetic and involved on the periphery with different aspects of the SEC and North Jersey Super Football Conference. A West Caldwell resident, Porcelli could be another ‘interim’ possibility for the AD job at Caldwell and could ease in the permanent person with a great ability to mentor.

Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister

Longtime Caldwell teacher and coach Steve Trivino (left) has the ability to be the new AD at his high school alma mater, but may not want to puruse post at this point of his career as he continues to coach football out of district, most recently at Chatham where he had much success in 2015. (Photo by Bill Allen)

West Caldwell resident John Porcelli, who is the former AD at both Montclair and Morristown, could be solid fill-in as interim athletic director at Caldwell if powers-that-be there decide to go that route for fall. (Sideline Chatter photo)

Rich Porfido was the AD at Caldwell for 11 years before recently accepting an offer to be new AD at Wayne Hills. (Photo by Bill Allen-NJSportAction.NET)

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