McInerney Steps Down From St. Rose Boys Soccer Post
Tim McInerney stepped down as St. Rose head boys soccer coach last week, ending an 11-year run of success with the Purple Roses.
In his 11 seasons as the head boys soccer coach at St. Rose High School, Tim McInerney has led his teams through a number of memorable wins, but for him, no game was quite as memorable as a Shore Conference Tournament loss to Wall in 2002, McInerney’s second season.
After losing a heartbreaker to the rival Crimson Knights earlier that morning, McInerney rushed to the hospital to be with his wife, Jodi, as she delivered their daughter.
McInerney, a soon-to-be father of eight, is stepping away from his family on the field to spend more time with his family after 11 seasons, submitting his resignation to athletic director Chuck Rutan last week. McInerney and his wife are expecting their eighth child in early November.
“I’ll always remember that day and we got lucky that everything worked out the way it did,” McINerney said. “It’s kind of set up to where, if I was coaching, it would be the same thing this year. My wife would be expecting right around the time we would be playing tournament games and I just don’t want to have to do that again.
“My kids are getting to the age where they’re doing different things and I want to be around to support them and support my wife with whatever they need. I still love coaching, but being a high school coach is so much more than going to practice and games from September to October. In our good years, you’re starting up in June and going to the end of November and it’s almost an all-day commitment.”
According to McInerney, he was relatively certain this would be his last season, even before he found out his eight child was on the way.
“I was about 95 percent sure during the season that this was going to be it, but I didn’t want to rush into a decision or commit to it too soon before I talked it over with my wife and saw how things played out,” McInerney said. “We have a new athletic director and things are kind of changing around the school so that made it a little easier to walk away when I did, and I think in the end, it’s just the right time.”
St. Rose was a perennial contender in the NJSIAA Non-Public B tournament under McInerney. Since 2001, the Purple Roses reached the Non-Public B final six times and until 2010, they could not take home an outright championship for McInerney.
In the 2010, McInerney finally got his team over the hump with a 3-0 win over Oratory Prep, led by two goals by 2011 alumnus Brendan Canning. Prior to that game, McInerney had guided his team to five championship games in nine seasons, but had only a co-championship with Morris Catholic in 2002 to show for it.
“That team will always be special to me because of what we accomplished, but I honestly feel that way about all of the teams I coached,” McInerney said. “The most important thing to me was the relationships I have developed over the years with my players and to this day, I still have guys coming back to help out with the team and during the summer.”
After sharing the title with St. Rose in 2002, Morris Catholic defeated the Purple Roses in three straight championship games, capping a run of seven straight years with at least a share of the title. St. Rose was the only team to as so much as tie the Crusaders during their period of dominance.
The Purple Roses finally faced a new opponent in 2009, but lost to Gill St. Bernard, 4-0. One season later, St. Rose finally captured an outright state title for the first time since 1988 and for the sixth time overall.
“Whenever I run into any of the guys on that team, that championship game always comes up,” McInerney said. “It’s a memorable game for me, but it’s more satisfying knowing that it means a lot to them.”
St. Rose went 7-13 in 2011, just the team’s second losing campaign during McInerney’s tenure. The wins came early and often once McInerney took over, with a state championship appearances in 2002, 2003 and 2004, as well as appearances in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals in both 2003 and 2004. Both times, the Roses lost to eventual champion Toms River North, including a penalty kick defeat in 2003.
McInerney is currently finishing his third Master’s Degree in Business Administration and owns his own business. He is considering pursuing a position as an administrator in the future and in the meantime, plans to spend time with his family and coach soccer at lower levels.
He is also considering coaching the St. Catherine’s Elementary team, and according to McInerney, a number of Shore Conference coaches have already offered him an opportunity to join their staffs in some capacity.
“I still love to coach,” McInerney said. “I still love the game and if there’s a chance to still be around it without having to take too much time away from my wife and kids, then I absolutely still want to be involved.”
McInerney would not rule out a return to a head coaching position at some point if the opportunity presented itself, but for now, his 20 years as a player, assistant and head coach at St. Rose has ended after a run as one of the stronger programs in the Shore Conference.
“I’ve been a part of St. Rose for a long time, so it was a really hard decision,” McInerney said. “I really enjoyed my time there and I’ll always remember the relationships with the players and coaches and I hope that those will continue.”