In their sprint to throw open the doors to the region's first all-girls high school next fall, the Rumson founders of Trinity Hall announced Thursday that they have chosen Ken Santos as its athletic director.
Santos, girls' varsity coach at Red Bank Catholic High School (RBC) and a teacher in Little Silver schools, was introduced to about 80 people at a Trinity Hall information session at Oak Hill Academy in the Lincroft section of Middletown on Thursday night.
"We will have high expectations," said Santos in describing the school's stated mission to produce confident, competitive women through involvement in an athletic program that instills hard work, commitment and respect.
The inaugural class at Trinity Hall is expected to number about 50 students, but enrollment is projected to grow to 100 in each class, for an eventual total of 400 girls at the school.
In his remarks, Santos said he is in his 11th year in teaching at Markham Place in Little Silver, and has been coaching at the high school and college level for 16 years. Six of those years were spent as the men's assistant at Monmouth University.
He is the product of single-sex high school education at Christian Brothers Academy, and he went on to play soccer at Villanova. In 2011, he was inducted into the Villanova Hall of Fame. He's also played professional soccer in the US and Portugal.
"These experiences that I have had with athletics have played a major role in my life as a person, and I hope to continue to guide the next group of athletes at Trinity Hall in their pursuit of high academic and athletic standards," Santos said.
Leaving the winning girls' soccer team at RBC was a difficult decision, he said. "People are going to be shocked I left," adding, "I can't wait to build a soccer team that's mine."
Santos will oversee several sports at Trinity Hall, which will reflect the interests of the school's first students, which could include basketball, lacrosse, softball and field hockey.
"I really would not have left RBC for just the soccer position," said Trinity Hall's new athletic director. "That's what brought me over here."
The school will open in a temporary location in Middletown, on the Croydon Hall property in Leonardo, where there are grassy fields. The school's permanent home has not yet been announced.
The father of four, including two young girls, said he gave notice to RBC on Tuesday. His employment, which is part-time for now, begins in March.