Basketball: Valore is new coach at Cumberland

 

John Valore says it's 47 miles from his home in Moorestown to Cumberland Regional High School.

But the daunting distance might be in the difference between the Cumberland basketball program and the one that Valore built into a South Jersey power at Cherry Hill East.

Valore, who retired after the 2011 season after 35 years as the head coach at Cherry Hill East, has been hired as the new head coach at Cumberland -- a school with little basketball tradition.

"It's going to be a challenge but I'm looking forward to it," Valore said Monday. "I'm definitely excited."

Valore went 549-363 in 35 seasons at CHE. His teams won 20 or more games 10 times.

Valore retired from coaching because he also retired from teaching at CHE. The school district is adverse to hiring adjuncts as head coaches, and Valore knew that his former player and assistant, Dave Allen, was in line to become CHE's next coach.

"I didn't want to stop coaching," Valore said. "But I wanted to see David get the job."

Valore was a regular at CHE games last season, when the Cougars made a run all the way to the SJ Group 4 title game.

"I really missed coaching and this is a great opportunity," Valore said.

Valore has been running summer practices at Cumberland and also is the coach of the Colts' entry in the St. Augustine summer league.

He said former CHE star Marcus Bullock would be his top assistant at Cumberland.

Cumberland was 5-21 last season.

Valore said he hopes his coaching philosophy -- with a heavy emphasis on fast-break offense and three-point shooting as well as matchup zone defense -- will generate interest in the sport in the school and the community.

"We have our work cut out for us," Valore said. "But we're looking forward to the challenge. We think we can be competitive."

-- Phil Anastasia

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