The New York Jets announced today that Ashley "Smoke" Pierre of Irvington High School in Irvington, NJ and Brian Russo of Rahway High School in Rahway, NJ have been named this week's recipients of the New York Jets High School Coach of the Week awards presented by Gatorade. Through Gatorade's partnership, the monetary award to benefit the school's football program has doubled to $2,000. Along with this award, Irvington High School and Rahway High School receives an automatic bid to compete in the 2021 New York Jets 11-ON Tournament. In addition, they will be invited to watch the New York Jets play from a luxury suite at MetLife Stadium, when fans are allowed to attend games.
In its 25th year, the Coach of the Week award is given to a coach in the Tri-State area who serves the best interests of the game through the teaching of sound football fundamentals, the motivation of young players to achieve and the promotion of youth football by way of dedication to their community, their school and their student-athletes. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Jets will name two coaches every week because of the condensed high school football season.
Coach Russo is a 1996 graduate of Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, NJ. He played fullback and linebacker at Woodbridge. After high school, Russo attended Wagner College where he played linebacker. In 2001, Russo began to coach football as an assistant at Woodbridge High School. He took over head coaching duties of the program in 2003. After nine years as head coach of his alma mater, Russo became the head coach of Rahway High School. Russo is in his sixth season as the head coach of Rahway. Coach Russo teaches mathematics and special education at Woodbridge High School. On Saturday, October 3rd, the Rahway Indians defeated the Summit Hilltoppers 40-14.
Coach Pierre attended Bayley-Ellard High School in Madison, NJ where he played linebacker. After graduating in 2004, Pierre went to college at the University of Rhode Island. Pierre continued his football career in college. After college, Pierre began coaching at Barringer High School in 2008. Pierre was named the head coach at Irvington High School in 2016. On Friday, October 2nd the Irvington Knights overpowered the Bayonne Bees 32-6.