Sayreville football coach removed from strength/conditioning job
The Sayreville Board of Education made a move Tuesday night that could be hinting at the end of George Najjar's reign as head high school football coach.
A unanimous vote stripped Najjar of his role as strength and conditioning coach for the winter, spring and summer. Najjar had been suspended from his coaching and teaching duties since October in light of the sexual hazing scandal within the program that led to charges for seven football players.
The board also approved the removal of Timothy Ballard from the position of head coach for the freshman baseball team. Ballard was among four football assistant coaches who were recently reinstated to their teaching positions.
Board President Kevin Ciak and Superintendent Richard Labbe declined to comment on a reason for the votes. A public relations firm, hired by the district's insurance company, also offered no comment.
The amount of public attendees was down substantially compared to other board meetings over the past couple months, but local resident Laurie Esposito showed up to voice her opinion on the district's treatment of Najjar.
"I don't think he should be a scapegoat for this," Esposito said. "I've listened to students speak to me about Coach Najjar - about what a role model he's been - a surrogate dad."
When asked about a timeline for a decision on the future of the high school football program overall, Labbe said the recommendation could come within the next month and a half. This year's season was canceled after week three.