Camden Catholic reached outside South Jersey to find its new football coach.
Robert “Cody” Hall, who has spent the last 10 years as a teacher and coach at Glen Mills (Pa.) Schools, was named the Irish’s new coach on Tuesday night.
Hall replaces Nick Strom, who was 34-6 in four seasons but was dismissed under controversial circumstances in early May.
Camden Catholic athletic director Derrick Levine called Hall “a man of faith who has excelled as an educator, a mentor and a coach,” in a statement released by the school.
Hall met with parents and returning players as well as incoming students and their parents on Tuesday, according to the school.
Hall has declined interview requests, with Levine indicating the new coach wants to “get his feet on the ground” before discussing his new position.
In a statement released by the school, Hall said, “As a strong man of faith, a life-long student of football and an educator, there is no better fit for me than Camden Catholic High School.”
Hall graduated from Berwick (Pa.) High School in 1998. He was a standout player for the school’s state championship team as a senior.
He also played high school football at Salesianum (Del.).
Hall played four years at James Madison University as a wide receiver. He was a coach at the Walker School (Ga.), Cheyney University and Simon Gratz (Pa.) High School before starting at Glen Mills in 2007.
Hall also is camp director of the Philly QB Academy.
“My many years of teaching and coaching experience have led me to this next step, which I take on with great pride and hope for the future of the Irish football program,” Hall said in the statement.
Camden Catholic was a South Jersey power in four seasons under Strom, going 34-2 against area teams.
Strom was notified in late April that his teaching contract would not be renewed. He was asked to resign as football and golf coach.
He refused to resign and was dismissed after publicly suggesting that he had fallen out of favor with the Camden Catholic administration because there were too many black players on his team.
Camden Catholic officials denied Strom’s claim.
His dismissal led to an outcry among students and parents as well as wide-spread speculation that some of the team’s players would transfer out of the school.
One of Hall’s first challenges will be to try to keep together a team that was projected to be among the Top 5 in South Jersey in 2018.
Rising junior Tirek Cave, a standout linebacker who has a scholarship offer from Rutgers, said this week that he will not return to Camden Catholic.
Cave said he likely will transfer to a magnet school in Camden and play football for Camden High School.