Leo Ciappina has been the Head Football Coach at Saddle Brook High School for the past five years and has turned the program around into one of the most successful in Bergen County. The Falcons under Coach Ciappina have won three consecutive NJIC Division Championships by winning the title outright in 2011 and earning Co-Championships in 2010 and 2012. Following the championship seasons in 2010 and 2011 Coach Ciappina was selected by his peers as the Meadowlands Division Coach of the year. The Falcons made an impressive return to the playoffs the past three seasons, losing in the first round in 2010 and then reaching the second round in 2011 and 2012 where they lost to the eventual North 1 Group 1 champions. The success he’s had building his program earned him the Bergen County Coach of the Year award in 2011 followed by the Bergen County Team of the year award for Group 1/11 this past year in 2012. In his coaching career, Ciappina has coached high caliber student-athletes who currently play at all levels of college football and at the professional level including Steve Longa and Steve Beauharnais of Rutgers University and Steve Maneri from the Kansas City Chiefs.
In addition to his coaching duties, Ciappina works as a Physical Education Teacher at Saddle Brook High School the past six years. He is continuing his education at Fairleigh Dickinson University working to earn a Masters Degree in Sports Administration. Recently, through his studies, Coach Ciappina had the opportunity this past January to work with Cutting Edge Sports Management’s founder and president, Neil Malvone on the Dream Bowl, a Division III college football all-star game in Salem, Virginia. Ciappina worked closely with the college coaches, the best players from around the country, and the Cutting Edge organization gaining valuable experience in the planning of all-star game events. Coach Ciappina now proudly wants to restore the tradition of all-star football back to Bergen County with his role as co-chairman of the Bergen County Football Classic. Coach Ciappina is uniquely placed to head this committee as a Bergen County n, current coach and former player in the Bergen County all-star game in 2002. In that game, Coach Ciappina played with and against several current professional players, including Miles Austin, Blake Costanzo, and Tamba Hali. He believes the Cutting Edge Sports Management Bergen County Football Classic will bring all-star football back to Bergen County and it will be bigger and better than ever before.
Darren White earned his Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education from East Stroudsburg University and also holds a Masters in Sports Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Darren has been a teacher and coach at Saddle Brook High School the past 19 years and has served as the Head Football, Basketball, and Softball coach during his tenure. As the Head Football Coach from 1997-2003, Saddle Brook made 5 consecutive State Playoff appearances and went undefeated in the 2002 regular season with 8 shutouts. The 2002 team won the BPSL Championship over State Champion Paterson Catholic, and set a school single season record with 10 wins. Coach White was named the 2000 Herald News Coach of the Year as well as the 2001 Bergen County National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Coach of the Year. Coach White was also chosen to Coach on the South staff for the 1999 and 2002 Bergen County All-star Football games. In the 2002 game Coach White was able to coach current Saddle Brook Head Coach Leo Ciappina, and has been an assistant with him the past 2 seasons. Coach White was on Neil Malvone’s staff and worked as the Football Game Day liaison at the inaugural Dream Bowl College Football All-Star Game in Roanoke Virginia in January.
Coach White has served as the Head Softball Coach at Saddle Brook for 18 seasons were he has compiled 394 wins and 5 State Sectional Titles in 9 appearances. Saddle Brook Softball has also won 20 or more games for 15 consecutive seasons. Coach White is also the Bergen County Softball Tournament Director for the BCWCA and has served as the Head Basketball coach and in 8 seasons entered the century club with over 100 wins.
Darren currently resides in Oakland, with his wife Angelique and 3 children Evan, Danielle, and Gia. He coaches his son’s 7th and 8th grade Football and Baseball teams and enjoys watching his daughters compete in Gymnastics and Softball. Darren is thrilled to be involved with Cutting Edge Sports Management and bringing the All-Star Classic back to Bergen County.