By Phil Anastasia
Kemp Carr, who built Penns Grove from a struggling program into small-school power that produced one of the most dominating seasons in South Jersey football history, has resigned as the Red Devils' coach.
Carr said he also will no longer be involved with the Penns Grove boys' basketball and golf teams.
"I'm resigning from Penns Grove athletics," Carr said.
Carr was Penns Grove's football coach for 10 seasons. He led the Red Devils to a 74-34 record, including a 60-17 mark over the last seven seasons.
Carr, a Salem High School graduate, said he was unsure of his future plans. He holds a supervisory certificate that would enable him to become an athletic director. He is a health and physical education teacher at Penns Grove.
"The door is wide open," Carr said.
Carr had been the boys' basketball coach for the last seven years at Penns Grove but his former assistant, Damien Ware, was named as the new head coach on the first day of practice on Dec. 2.
Carr's last football team finished 8-4. The Red Devils lost the South Jersey Group 1 title game to Glassboro by a 44-0 score on Dec. 7.
Carr's 2012 football team was regarded as one of the best Group 1 squads in South Jersey history. The Red Devils set a state record for points in a season with 621, allowed just 46 points and pitched eight shutouts.
Led by quarterback Nick Elmer (shaking hands with Carr in photo), now a freshman on a wrestling scholarship at Drexel, Penns Grove in 2012 went 12-0 and won the program's only South Jersey title.
"Coach Carr was one of the hardest workers I ever met," Elmer said. "He definitely put in the hours to turn what was a failing program around. He dfemands great effort from his players and students which is why he had a lot of success in changing the atmosphere of the town of Penns Grove."
Carr said he was proud of his efforts with the Penns Grove athletic program.
"I was fortunate to coach so many great young men," Carr said. "I learned a lot from them and I hope they learned a lot from me."
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org