But that official notification dragged on and on and on. Of course, there was a very important election to worry about in the Mile Square City, so that had to take precedence in the line of important matters to settle.
So since the election is out of the way _ somewhat _ the Board of Education went ahead to formally announce the hiring of the 44-year-old Taglieri as the new head football coach.
The hiring was made official at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.
Taglieri is a Hoboken native, born and bred. He was a standout quarterback at Hoboken High, playing for Stinson during his first stint as Red Wings' coach in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Taglieri left Hoboken for a career in the Air Force after graduating in 1980 and returned home 10 years later to become a teacher and a coach, where he has remained since. "I'm a Hoboken boy," Taglieri said. "After spending 10 years in the military, it wasn't hard for me to want to come home. And it didn't take long that I wanted to coach with Coach Stinson. After all, I played for him. I watched him. I learned everything from him. Even when I was in the Air Force, I called him once a week, to see how things were. It was a no-brainer for me to come back home and coach with him."
So with that in mind, don't expect a lot of changes in the makeup of the Red Wings this fall.
"Everything is already in place, so we're just going to move on," Taglieri said. "It's almost like you can take a cut out of Eddie Stinson and put him on our sidelines, because nothing is going to change. It's not broke, so we don't have to fix it. We're going to be the same team."
Except for one glaring exception _ the absence of Stinson, who had become the most visual aspect of the Hoboken football program and certainly one of the most respected coaches in New Jersey, if not the entire country.
"Without a doubt, that part is going to be tough," Taglieri said. "He's not just known statewide. He's respected nationwide. It's going to be tough to replace Eddie. There will never be another like him. I idolize the man. Why would I try to replace him? The program is already in place. We're just going to roll everything over and keep it going. Nothing is going to change."
This means that Hoboken followers should look for the same Delaware Wing-T offense that Stinson ran to perfection over the years to be utilized in similar fashion by Taglieri. The defensive sets will be the same as well.
"We're not reinventing the wheel," Taglieri said.
The new coach inherits a team that was junior dominated a year ago and went to the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I title game in Giants Stadium, only to suffer a heart-breaking 6-0 loss to Cedar Grove.
You can be rest assured that the Red Wings will be primed for another state title run in 2005.
Taglieri said that he will have some time adjusting to the other responsibilities of being a head coach, like monitoring academic progress and daily organizational duties, things that Stinson handled with aplomb.
"That's the big thing," Taglieri said. "I'm going to be wracking my brains every day. I used to take notes every day, watching Eddie, to see what he did. It's going to be a challenge."
Taglieri said that he was fortunate to be able to form a solid assistant coaching staff, a group of familiar Hoboken football names that will help him get through the rough times, guys like former All-State Red Wing heroes like Ravon Anderson, Keeon Walker and Rashard Casey, along with Ralph Gallo, Jr., Lou Turso and Doug Peterson. Matt Shannon, Vinnie Johnson, Sr. and Ryan Sorafine round out the staff.
"It's all about them," Taglieri said. "I'm going to listen to them. It's not about me. It's why I brought them here, so they could help me."
Taglieri said that he has enough friends in the head coaching business, guys like Wilbur Valdez (Ferris) and Joe Rotondi (Union Hill), that he can rely upon for advice.
Then, of course, there's always "the King."
"I've been around Eddie so much and I'm going to try to emulate him," Taglieri said. "It's going to be different without him around. There's no denying that. I never had a desire to be a head coach as long as Eddie was here. If he was still here, I'd be his assistant. That's just the way it is. But he's gone and we have to keep going. That's my job now. I never wanted to be anywhere else. I was born here, grew up here, spent my life here. I want to stay here."
Hoboken is lucky enough to have a native son who wanted to stay around and keep the ship righted. Lou Taglieri is that man. --Jim Hague