Tom Hoglen steps down after 18 years as Hamilton West football coach

Tom Hoglen Hamilton High West

By Rich Fisher

Dec. 18: 
Tom Hoglen is calling it a coaching career.

Hoglen told The Trentonian/Fish4scores Tuesday afternoon that he is stepping down as head coach of the Hamilton West football team after 18 years of running the program.

Athletic Director John Costantino will begin searching for a replacement and hopes to find someone with the same strong character that Hoglen possesses.  

“It’s always something you think about after every season,” said Hoglen, who has also coached at McCorristin (now Trenton Catholic) and Florence high schools.“Football is a 365-day a year job. I’ve been playing or coaching for 45 years and coaching for almost 30 and not just coaching one sport. I’ve done two or three sports at every school I’ve been at. I feel like I’ve been on the run since 1989 when Eric Hamilton gave me my first job at Trenton State (now The College of New Jersey). I’ve given it everything I have for so long, I’m ready to spend time with my family, who supported me through all this.”

“Tom is one of the best people you will ever meet,” Costantino said. “He is a guy who has done so much more for the kids at Hamilton West than just being their football coach. He was a friend, father, mentor as well as a coach to over more than a thousand kids in his career. I applaud Tom for being an ambassador for kids moving on to college and the time he has spent networking with college coaches and always promoting our athletes. He has done more for kids and this community than many people realize as head football coach at HamiltonWest for the past 18 years.”

Hoglen won 106 games during his tenure at Hamilton and produced several Division I performers and an NFL player in Jayson DiManche. His final year at West produced a 6-4 record and West Jersey Football League Valley Division championship.  But for Hoglen, it’s not about the statistics.

Hoglen said he came to his decision after this year’s Thanksgiving game with Steinert, but promised his family he would take a few weeks to think it over before rushing to judgment. He spoke with his players after school on Tuesday afterletting his coaches and Costantino know during the previous days.

Coach Tom Hoglen and his wife after the 2017 Thanksgiving Day Game.  Photo by Michael A. Sabo.

“The highlights are definitely the kids,” he said. “Every relationship you developthrough the years with your kids and coaches, that’s why we coach. I toldsomebody long ago, it’s not the wins and losses but about the relationships youbuild. Seeing how these young men mature and go on to succeed in life. Thefriendships you make. It’s all about the relationships built over the years,with what I have with the coaches and their families. It’s been great.”

“One thing I did this week is pull each coach over and talk to them,” Hoglen said. “I did a lot of reminiscing. It’s been a tough week, but I’m also ready for the next phase in my life. I’ll get out there and travel a little bit, do some things.”

For an expanded version of this story see The Trentonian at

About The Author

Rich Fisher has been around the Hamilton Township sports scene for so long that he actually got Rich Giallella’s autograph when Giallella was still a player! Proud product of Hamilton YMCA and Lou Gehrig baseball leagues and former teammate of Jim Maher on a very average Barton & Cooney rec basketball team, Fish graduated from Nottingham Junior High and Steinert High school and has covered township sports since 1980. His goal in life is to convince Maria Prato that Jersey tomatoes are at least 100 times better than California tomatoes.