Andrew Daley said he’s always enjoyed a challenge.
He’s embracing his latest one as the new football coach at Cherry Hill East.
“I’m excited by it,” said Daley, who was approved as the Cougars’ new coach Tuesday night by the Cherry Hill Board of Education. “The potential for this program is huge.”
Daley, who will be 30 in May, takes over a once-powerful program that has struggled in the win-loss column in recent seasons. Cherry Hill East has lost 28 games in a row since winning the first two games of the 2015 season.
The Cougars are 3-47 since the start of the 2013 season. They last made the playoffs in 2006, although they had a 7-3 squad in 2011 that beat perennial power Cherokee by 57-56 in an epic overtime game.
“I know I have to change the culture,” Daley said. “I know I have to create some excitement, get the community involved, the school involved.
“There are kids walking the halls who for whatever reason didn’t want to play football. I have to change that. I have to make them want to play football for East again.”
Extremely grateful for the opportunity to take over the program at Cherry Hill East. Thank you to everyone involved in the process, and for everyone who helped me to get to this point. Now the fun starts!#JoinTheHunt https://t.co/pFp9SeNIyB
— Andrew Daley (@coachdaley12) April 11, 2018
Mike Beirao, the athletic director of both Cherry Hill high schools, believes Daley will supply a jolt of energy to the Cougars program.
“Andrew stood out to us as someone who had a tremendous amount of energy, passion and the necessary commitment to success in order to lead this football program,” Beirao said. “Coming from the collegiate level, he brings a pedigree and level of expertise that set him apart from the candidates.
“He is a football coach. It’s all he wants to do, build outstanding young men who are part of a successful football program.”
Daley is a 2007 Eastern High School graduate. He was the Vikings’ starting quarterback for three seasons under coach Dan Spittal.
Daley played at Towson, an NCAA Division I program, before transferring to Rowan and finishing his college career with the Profs. He also played professional football for parts of two seasons in Germany for the Rostock Griffins before beginning his coaching career.
“That was a great experience,” said Daley, who spent about a year and a half in Germany. “It was pretty cool to get to play, get paid to play and travel, plus to teach them some things about the game.”
Daley has been a well-traveled assistant coach. He worked at Sterling for a year and at Cherry Hill West for a year. He was offensive coordinator at Jersey Coast Academy in Toms River, which at the time was the only junior college in New Jersey to offer football.
Most recently, Daley has been quarterbacks coach at Delaware Valley University, an NCAA Division III program in Doylestown.
“College coaching, it’s a little of a Here Today, Gone Tomorrow thing,” Daley said. “I really was hoping to settle down, get back to coaching in South Jersey.”
Daley replaces Tom Coen, who was his offensive coordinator at Eastern. Coen is a history teacher at Cherry Hill East.
“He’s excited for me, and I’m excited to have his support,” Daley said of Coen.