Paramus Catholic football names next head coach, 5th coach since 2015

Paramus Catholic has announced the hiring of John Whitehead to be the program’s next head football coach.

Whitehead, who has spent 20 years serving at the school as both a teacher and coach, will enter his second stint as the head coach after leading the Paladins from 2004-07.

In those four seasons, Whitehead went 21-20 overall, including a high mark of 8-3 in 2006, but just 2-11 against PC’s biggest Bergen County rivals – Bergen Catholic, Don Bosco Prep and St. Joseph (Mont.).

Paramus Catholic was outscored, 521-78, in those 13 games – outscored by an average margin of 34 points per game.

The head coaching position at Paramus Catholic has been a revolving door since former coach Chris Partridge bolted for Michigan following the 2014 season, as Whitehead – who is replacing Dan Sabella, who left for Ridgefield Park – will be the fifth PC head coach since January 2015.

Partridge was initially replaced by Blake Costanzo, who left before his first season even began in 2014, to continue his NFL career. Former assistant coach John Westervelt then took over and led the Paladins to a 3-6 mark that year. Sabella, coming to PC following success at nearby Paramus, replaced Westervelt the following season and led Paramus Catholic to a state title in 2016, the program’s third in a five-year span.

Whitehead was also Paramus Catholic’s defensive coordinator from 1997-2003, where he oversaw a defense that led the Paladins to a Parochial, Group 3 state title in 1997 – before being named head coach prior to the 2004 season. The championship in 1997 was Paramus Catholic’s last before Partridge led the Paladins to back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

Whitehead joins Bergen Catholic’s Vito Campanile, who replaced his brother, Nunzio, as new hires this off-season among the ‘Big Six’ schools in North Jersey.

JJ Conrad may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jj_conrad. Like High School Sports on Facebook.

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