Updated May 21, 3:05 p.m. ET
The two head coaches for New Jersey's 35th North/South High School All-Star Football Classic next month will be New York Jets employees and former NFL offensive linemen both of whom played in this game three decades earlier.
Jets offensive line coach Mike Devlin will take over the South's reins for this game while the North will be guided by Dave Szott, the Green & White's director of player development. The game will be played June 24 at Kean University.
“It' an honor to participate in the North/South All-Star Classic and be part of the great tradition of coaches and players which have participated from the football rich state of New Jersey," Devlin said today. "It's always good to give back to the state that gave so much to me as a young man. It also allows me to see firsthand the many talented young men that are about to start their journey into the next chapter of their life. Go South.”
“To be asked to represent North Jersey in the North/South All-Star Classic is an honor," Szott said. "North Jersey has a history of great athletes, coaches and football programs. We're already excited about the time we will spend preparing and playing in June.”
Szott represented Clifton High School for the North side back in the 1986 game. He went on to star at Penn State and enjoyed a distinguished 14-year pro career as a starting guard for the Chiefs, Redskins and Jets. He's been with the Jets since he retired as a player after the 2003 season and this offseason has entered his sixth season in player development.
Devlin played in the 1988 all-star game for Cherokee High. After an All-America career at Iowa, he went on to a distinguished seven-year career as a center/O-lineman with the Bills and Cardinals. He came to then-head coach Eric Mangini's Jets in 2006 from the University of Toledo coaching staff and is now in his fifth season under Rex Ryan and eighth overall as a Jets assistant coach.
The North/South Classic is New Jersey's oldest all-star football game, started in 1978 by a group of high school coaches at Rutgers University to showcase the state's high school football talent. And it's been an evenly contested event over the years, with the South holding a 16-15-2 edge over the North (one game was canceled).
The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET kickoff on the SprintTurf field of Kean Alumni Stadium on the school campus located at 1000 Morris Ave. in Union, N.J. Before the game, young fans can participate in JetsFest, the Jets' interactive playground for kids, which will be open on the grounds around the stadium.