by Andrew Garda

The wait is finally over for Montclair High School coaches, parents and athletes, as the Montclair School District has named Dr. Patrick Scarpello as its new assistant principal in charge of athletics, which is essentially the job of athletic director.

The hiring of Scarpello, 34, was approved by the Board of Education on Nov. 20, and he is expected to take over in December. Dec. 15 has been mentioned as a potential start date. Scarpello has been the athletic director in Summit the last two years.

For interim athletic director Mike Miello, Scarpello felt like a great fit.

“The reason he gave [for applying] which impressed me the most, was the fact that he really feels this was a home for him and the type of community he wants to be a part of,” Miello said. “By that I mean, being a multicultural community, a diverse community. That’s what he went to school [in] during his younger days and he feels very comfortable there.”

Miello also feels that Scarpello’s energy and dedication would be a great fit for the MHS athletic department.

“He’s a 24-7 guy. He’s a workaholic, loves the job, has a great set of standards and expectations for his coaches and his athletes. And he leads by example.”

In terms of background, Scarpello appears to fit some of the additions to the athletic director job criteria which the Board of Ed has added, such as running gym programs for middle and high school.

A physical education teacher in Morris County for several years when he worked in the Madison school district. Scarpello was also previously an assistant AD in the Hillsborough school district. There, he helped run the Somerset County high school athletic programs and managed middle school sports, before becoming a vice principal at Bolger Middle School.

Scarpello also has plenty of hands-on coaching experience as a former assistant for Madison High School’s boys lacrosse team as well as being an assistant for the girls basketball team.

Scarpello’s transition will be made easier by the groundwork Miello laid out for his successor. The winter sports programs are already up and running, there’s a new boys lacrosse coach and things are already in motion for spring sports. That means Scarpello can ease in — as much as that’s possible in Montclair — and get his feet wet rather than hit the ground at a full sprint.

There are sure to be some bumps in the road, but Miello’s hard work to keep the MHS athletic department working efficiently sets Scarpello up for early success.

Miello has enjoyed his time in Montclair, but he is excited to see Scarpello take over the reins and make the job his own.

“I think he’s going to be a great fit for the district,” Miello said. “I think they’ll be very happy with him.”

The Montclair Local reached out to Scarpello for comment for this story but did not hear back by press time.