John G. ‘Jackie’ Moore, football coach who revived Don Bosco Prep program, dies
Jackie Moore, a football coach who turned around a struggling Don Bosco Prep program in the 1990s and also enjoyed success in Hudson County, died Tuesday at his home in Hasbrouck Heights.
“He was a man who loved football, but you can’t say it was [his] life, because he was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather,” said Barbara Moore, his wife of 58 years.
Mr. Moore, who years earlier had been a Don Bosco assistant, took the head coaching reins at the Ramsey school in 1995. The varsity was coming off four years that produced just eight wins.
Over four seasons, Mr. Moore led the Ironmen to a 21-17 record, including a 9-2 campaign in 1998. A signature victory occurred in his first season, when Don Bosco scored 14 points in the final three minutes to upset Paramus Catholic, 33-32. It was Don Bosco’s first victory over its rival in six years.
“Jackie was as ‘old school’ as you can find,” said Keith Migliorino, who played for Mr. Moore at Don Bosco and is now head coach at Northern Highlands Regional in Allendale. “There were no ‘bells and whistles.’ It was: Line up and do the same thing over and over again until it was perfect. He believed in running the football, and toughness, and conditioning and weight training — the fundamentals.”
John G. “Jackie” Moore played football at St. Michael’s High School in Union City and on scholarship at Clemson University. During the Korean War, he served with the Army Military Police.
He coached football while employed full time with Beneficial Finance Corp. He would work from home and after hours to fulfill his coaching responsibilities, his wife said.
“Just because he wasn’t a teacher coaching football doesn’t mean he wasn’t an educator,” Migliorino said. “He was an educator in his own way. He taught not only the game of football, but he taught character and discipline and accountability, for sure.”
Mr. Moore also had a successful run in the 1970s and 1980s at Marist High School in Bayonne. He led Marist to its first Hudson County championship, won multiple Coach of the Year honors and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Until a year ago, he was an offensive and defensive line coach at Wallington. “The kids bought into everything he said,” said head coach Barry Blauvelt, who brought Mr. Moore onto his staff in 2012. “He brought a load of information and experience to our staff. If any situation popped up, he probably had seen it before.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Moore is survived by a daughter, Erin; a sister and two grandchildren. Visiting will be 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Costa Memorial Home, Hasbrouck Heights. The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Francis of Assisi R.C. Church, Ridgefield Park.
Staff Writer Robert Aitken contributed to this article.