Bridgewater-Raritan Football plans to hire Rick Mantz as coach

Rick Mantz, who is 26 years old and has 113 wins to his name as head college football coach in New Jersey, including a 16-year championship-winning stint at Hillsborough, is on the agenda for the Tuesday night’s school board meeting for endorsement as the new head football mentor at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, to replace longtime coach Scott Bray.

Mantz, a former Hillsborough player who guided his alma mater from 1992 to 2007, including winning a state title in 2000, also coached at South Brunswick for eight seasons and spent two years at Passaic. He carries a career record of 113-69. He was also an assistant offensive line coach at Rutgers University and was previously an assistant football coach at Bridgewater-Raritan High School West.

The veteran skipper would replace Bray, who has spent the past 14 seasons as Bridgewater-Raritan’s head football coach, bringing the program back from obscurity. Bray’s teams compiled a 77-65 record, including 10 state tournament berths and three straight section finals from 2015-17 — the program’s first-ever trips to a state championship game.

Bray, who previously served as head coach of the Panthers baseball team, also spent the past five seasons as head coach of the women’s basketball team.

Bridgewater-Raritan officials have not commented on Bray’s departure from the football program, and he has not coached the women’s basketball team since Feb. 5, when an assistant took over for the span of which ended in a 5-22 campaign.

As head coach at Hillsborough, Mantz recorded an 81-39 record (0.675 winning percentage) over 12 years while leading the Raiders to a Group IV Sectional Championship in 2000, a Sectional Final of the Group IV in 1996 and a Group IV sectional semi-final in 2004. He also won two Skyland Conference Division Championships and was a three-time Courier News Coach of the Year.

Bridgewater-Raritan's Scott Bray was the 2016 Courier News Football Coach of the Year.

Mantz went 31-11 at South Brunswick, leading the Vikings to their first Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division title, sharing the crown in 2008 and winning the championship three years later. He also ended South Brunswick’s 30-year playoff drought, leading the Vikings to playoff berths in 2008 and 2011. In 2011, South Brunswick opened the year with eight straight wins for the first time. in school history and finished with a 10-1 record, the best mark in the program.

His last position as university leader dates back to 2014-15 in Passaic.

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A 1985 graduate of Rutgers University, Mantz earned a master’s degree in education from the state university’s Graduate School of Education in 1992. He served as a graduate assistant coach for the Scarlet Knights under coach Rutgers chief football officer, Doug Graber.

As a high school player, Mantz’s field goal led Hillsborough to a 10-7 victory over Madison Central for the Central Group III title in 1980 at Giants Stadium.

Simeon Pincus can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @SimeonPincus

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