By now the word has gotten out that there will be a new head baseball coach at Toms River South next season as one of the legendary figures in the history of the Shore Conference and all of New Jersey has announced his retirement and I had a front seat for most of his career

Ken Frank became head coach at Toms River South in 1978, 16 months before I was hired as the first full-time Sports Director at WOBM.  It wasn’t long before I started spending spring afternoons watching the Indians play because it seemed they were always involved in big games.  Night games at Winding River Park against their cross-town rivals became events with well over 1,000 people in attendance.  Of course championship games followed and South began putting up “balls on the wall” to signify titles at their home ballpark which would later be named after Frank.

In those early years I would often show up for a game with a beach chair and sit where I could also catch a little sun.  It became a joke that Ken and I shared for many years.  As a reporter you knew that rooting for a team was a no-no but I always wanted the Indians to do well because I admired the program they had built.  The infield-outfield drills before the game, reserve players doing sprints in between innings and the post-game ceremony became traditions that have withstood the test of time.

Later when my son played in the program and was part of a state championship team I got to fully understand what South baseball was all about…plus I could openly root for them as a parent.

As part of the changes coming the Indians will also need to replace 30-year assistant Mitch Powitz who spent 30 years with the program after being a standout player for the maroon and white…he is retiring as well.

In my career I was blessed to follow some of the true iconic coaches…Wolf, Auriemma, Kubu, Caravella, Montano, Miller and more.  I’ll close by saying regardless of sport Ken Frank belongs on the Mount Rushmore of coaches.

Ken Frank's 755th win
Ken Frank's 755th win (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)
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New additions to NJ DOT's 2024 collection of humorous safety messages

The NJ DOT continued to use a series of humorous seasonal safety messages on its' over 200 electronic signs around New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

 

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