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Tom Coen resigns as Cherry Hill East football coach

The coach led his alma mater for 11 seasons, and his 2011 team won one of the wildest regular-season games in South Jersey history.

Tom Coen (right) and Cherry Hill East take the field for the 2017 season opener vs. Paul VI.
Tom Coen (right) and Cherry Hill East take the field for the 2017 season opener vs. Paul VI.Read moreBob Williams/For the Inquirer

Tom Coen has decided the "time was right" to step away from his position as football coach at Cherry Hill East.

Coen on Tuesday announced his resignation after 11 seasons in charge of the program at his alma mater.

"I met with the administration and in talking things through I felt like it was time for me to move in a different
direction," Coen said. "I've been at it a long time."

Coen, a 1986 Cherry Hill East graduate who played at Rutgers, said the Cougars' recent struggles on the field were a
contributing factor.

Cherry Hill East has lost 28 games in a row, and the Cougars are 3-47 over the previous five seasons.

Coen's teams had a record of 23-75 in 11 seasons.

"We had the on-the-field stuff, not being successful, and that can take a lot out of you," Coen said.

Coen's best team at Cherry Hill East was in 2011, when the Cougars went 7-3, beating Washington Township, Lenape and
Cherokee as well as cross-town rival Cherry Hill West.

That team, led by standout running back Brian Regan, beat a 7-3 Cherokee team by a 57-56 score on quarterback Jesse Gold's
two-point conversion run in overtime in one of the wildest games in South Jersey football history.

"The wins and losses, sadly a lot of times you get judged by that," Coen said. "But I feel good about what I've done
here. It's important not to lose sight of the larger goal."

Coen said he is proud to have worked with outstanding coaches and players in his time at Cherry Hill East.

Coen was the head coach at Pennsauken from 1997-2002, compiling a 32-27 record.

"It's never easy to do something like this," Coen said. "But I felt like the time was right. I feel good about the

Coen, who plans to remain as a history teacher at Cherry Hill East, said he was open to another opportunity as a coach,
either as an assistant or as the chief of another program.

"Who knows what opportunities are out there," Coen said. "This is something that will take me in another direction."