Bishop Ahr hoops coach fired after 27 years, just short of hitting a Middlesex record
Kevin Harper, the longtime girls basketball coach at Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison, has been fired by the school after 27 seasons at the helm, he told NJ Advance Media last week.
The reason why Harper was let go, however, seems to be in dispute.
"Mr. Harper served us well during his tenure as coach, but we feel it's time for a change," said Sister Donna Marie Trukowski, Bishop Ahr principal, in a statement released Tuesday to MyCentralJersey.com. "We wish him the best."
But Harper said his own personal meeting with Trukowski, after being informed of the decision by athletic director Mike Wolfthal, revealed a more specific motive than that.
"She said we're at a point where your records are basically the same (year after year). I thought we'd win more championships," the coach told NJ Advance Media.
Harper has 597 wins in a 37-year coaching career, all but 10 of those years at Bishop Ahr. His resume at the Edison school includes a .695 overall winning percentage, 10 division titles, and two Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament championships -- though no titles since 2001.
At the time of his firing, MyCentralJersey.com reported, Harper was just one more victory away from becoming the winningest girls basketball coach in Middlesex County history.
The Bishop Ahr website shows an immediate opening for a head varsity girls basketball coach.
Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.