By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Brian Beck’s connection to Marlboro football dates back to when he proudly roamed the sideline as a water boy when he was five-years-old.
He went on to star at quarterback for the Iron Dukes and joined Marlboro’s coaching staff fresh out of Marist College in 2006. He’s been an integral part of Marlboro football ever since and now is the face of the juggernaut program.
Beck was appointed by the school board as Marlboro’s new football coach on Thursday night. He replaces Rich Ward, who was told in January by Marlboro superintendent Michael Brooks that he would not be recommended for the position for the 2018 season. Ward and Marlboro administrators later talked about the possibility of his return, but a deal was never agreed upon.
“It is an honor and a privilege to take over the program,” said Beck, Marlboro’s defensive coordinator last season. “This is something that I always dreamed about growing up. It didn’t come the easiest way. I would have liked to continue my mentorship under Rich Ward, but I want to carry on what he built.”
Several Marlboro players protested Ward’s dismissal, but they were relieved that Beck, known for his intensity a burly beard, was named as his successor. The team was informed of Beck’s hiring three days before he was appointed by the school board.
“Coach Beck was our number one choice to be completely honest,” Marlboro quarterback Sam Mongelli said. “I like him a lot and I know that he will bring great things to the program. Coach Beck has the same mentality as coach Ward and I think great things are going to come from it. He has a killer mentality and wants to win everything.”
Mongelli added: “I respect Coach Beck a lot. He’s a great mentor and is a good person. He’s a great coach and everyone likes him. He relates to all of us very well.”
Beck takes over a Marlboro team that returns 17 players from last year’s team that is the favorite to repeat as Section 9 Class B champions this fall. Under Ward, the Iron Dukes won six of the last seven Class B titles. He reached the Class B championship in all eight of his seasons. Before Ward’s tenure, the Iron Dukes had never won a Section 9 title.
“Rich has been a great friend through everything,” Beck said. “There are still sour grapes because it didn’t end how we wanted it to. It wasn’t a retirement. But Rich stayed away during the process and was a friend through it.”
Beck said he doesn’t plan on changing much as far as Marlboro’s schemes and will begin to putting together his coaching staff in the near future. The Iron Dukes open the season on August 31st against New Paltz, which moves from Class B to Class A this fall.
“Rich paved the way and turned the program into a monster,” Beck said. “I’m not going to mess with that. We put a good product on the field and I think that comes down to the kids in town and their families. They are very passionate. I’m in a good situation and I want to keep this program rolling.”