Gabe Infante has resigned as St. Joseph’s Prep’s head football coach to become a defensive assistant at Temple.
Infante compiled a 91-22 record (.805 winning percentage) and won four PIAA state championships in nine seasons with the Hawks. The squad also finished runner-up once.
“It’s a bittersweet day in a lot of ways, with me leaving the Prep, but it’s a great fit for me and my family,” Infante said. “Everything fell into place.”
Temple announced Manny Diaz, who was formerly the defensive coordinator at Miami, as its new head coach on Dec 13. He replaced Geoff Collins, who departed for the same job at Georgia Tech.
“After Manny came to Philadelphia, he reached out to me,” Infante, 45, said. “We never met before. We kind of connected right away. We continued to talk and finally worked out the details of me joining Temple’s staff.”
Infante said that his exact role has not been defined, but that he will likely work with Temple’s linebackers.
“The opportunity to work on the defensive side is perfect for me,” he said.
Infante, who was a quarterback at Memorial High (N.J.) and Holy Cross, directed the Prep to a 40-1 record and two state titles over the last three seasons. He met with the Prep players on Saturday.
“I am incredibly grateful to Coach Infante for all that he has done for our students during his tenure here,” Prep athletic director Dennis Hart said in a statement released Saturday.
“He ran a program of which we could all be proud, on and off the field. Though I am sorry to see him go, I am happy to see him take this next step professionally.”
The Prep also announced that Tim Roken, the associate head coach and offensive coordinator, will take over the program.
“It’s just time for someone else to take over the reins, and for me to explore a new opportunity," Infante said. “We accomplished a lot in my time at the Prep and I’ll always be grateful for my time there.”
Roken, who was a quarterback at Archbishop Ryan (class of 2004) and East Stroudsburg, this season directed an offense that averaged 43.3 points per game.
“I have learned so much from working with Coach Infante and helping him build this program into what it has become,” Roken said in the statement.
“I could not be more excited to be the new head coach of this illustrious program and continue the success that we have grown accustomed to.”
The Hawks this season went 13-0, won the Catholic League Class 6A championship, captured the District 12 title, and beat District 3’s Harrisburg, 40-20, for top state honors.
Infante, who was born in Hoboken, N.J., was the head coach at Paramus Catholic (N.J.) for two seasons before going to the Prep. Before that, he was an assistant at three other North Jersey schools, including his alma mater.
“I’m looking forward to this new challenge,” Infante said. “My focus now is on becoming the best linebackers coach Temple has ever had.”