One of NJ's top coaches to lead Ocean City Barons

Ocean City High's Mike Pellegrino takes charge, Neil Holloway to focus on GM role

The Ocean City Barons will begin the 2007 season with changes intended to not only improve play on the field, but to also help the entire club continue to grow.

For the upcoming campaign, Mike Pellegrino will take over as the new head coach of the Barons’ PDL team, allowing Neil Holloway to focus on his role as general manager. In that role, Holloway will look after the club’s day-to-day operations, including an expansion of the club’s marketing and promotion throughout the South Jersey area. OCEAN CITY, NJ (March 22, 2007) - The Ocean City Barons will begin the 2007 season with changes intended to not only improve play on the field, but to also help the entire club continue to grow.

At a press conference held at the Ocean City Civic Center that was attended by Ocean City Mayor Sal Perolli the Barons announced that for the upcoming campaign, Mike Pellegrino will take over as the new head coach of the Barons’ PDL team, allowing Neil Holloway to focus on his role as general manager. In that role, Holloway will look after the club’s day-to-day operations, including an expansion of the club’s marketing and promotion throughout the South Jersey area.

Pellegrino joins the Barons with an impressive resume as one of the top high school coaches in the state of New Jersey. He has led Ocean City High School to four state championships (1999, 2000, 2003, 2005) and six South Jersey titles (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005). During the 2005 season, he guided OCHS to victory in the prestigious Courier Cup and the school enjoyed a national ranking of 18th by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Those accomplishments earned him the 2005 South Jersey Soccer Coach of the Year award by the Soccer Coaches Association of New Jersey. He was also named 2006 State Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High School Coaches.

Pellegrino began his soccer career playing for Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, Pa. and moved on to play at Penn State University where he earned his teaching certificate in mathematics. Upon graduation from college, Michael spent two years as a coach at Penn State University of Delaware County before relocating to South Jersey and taking over the head coaching position at Ocean City High School.

"We are very excited to announce Mike Pellegrino as our new head coach," said Holloway. "Mike is a local guy which gives us yet another connection with the shore community, and his coaching record at the high school level is second to none."

Holloway has worn many hats during the last four seasons with the Barons. During that time, he has acted as the club’s general manager while also contributing on the field as a midfielder. The last two years he was also the team’s head coach.

Joining Pellegrino on the sidelines will be former PDL Defender of the year John Thompson, who was a player/assistant coach with the Barons last season. Thompson will be hanging up his boots to focus on coaching the club, where he has anchored the back line since the 2002 season. Thompson was also recently inducted into the Lewis University (IL) Athletics hall of fame. In addition to his role with the Barons’ senior side, Thompson is in charge of several youth academy teams, including the club’s Super-20 team and is also a member of the Super Y-League Mid-Atlantic Regional ODP staff.

Also assisting Coach Pellegrino will be Rutgers University (Camden) head coach Tim Oswald. Oswald will not only help guide the team on the field, but also will help bring in talented players from the Philadelphia area.

"The coaching change is a decision that will have a positive impact for the entire organization," said Barons’ president John Granese. "Coach Pellegrino brings a great knowledge of the game, and it also allows Neil Holloway a chance to concentrate on making Carey Stadium the best PDL venue in the country."

With the continued support from the city of Ocean City, the Barons organization is looking forward to another exciting season. The club just completed their open tryouts and are preparing for the season opener on the road against the Delaware Dynasty on May 12. They will make their home debut at Carey Stadium on May 22 when they take on the Reading Rage.

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