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Delbarton Announces Varsity Basketball Leadership Change
Meghan Podimsky

Delbarton Director of Athletics and Varsity Basketball Head Coach Dan Whalen, who recently completed his 32nd season as Head Coach, has decided to retire from his coaching position at Delbarton. Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd, OSB is happy to announce that Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach Matt Crane, who also teaches math and science at Delbarton, will take over as varsity basketball head coach next season. Pictured below is Whalen with the seniors from his last varsity team:

In February, it was announced that Whalen was stepping down as the school’s Athletic Director to take on a new role as Assistant Director of Athletics for Facilities. Explaining his decision also to relinquish his coaching position, Whalen says, “After much thought I decided that it's time to step down and turn the reins over. I have always promised not to overstay my welcome and leave the program with a good group for the next coach to work with and continue the team-first culture we have established.”

Whalen became Delbarton’s varsity basketball coach during the 1991-92 season and finishes his tenure with an impressive 527-269 record, having led the Green Wave to six Morris County championships. “I have had the honor of coaching at Delbarton for 39 years, 32 as head coach,” says Dan Whalen. “We have been blessed with great players, great people, great assistant coaches, great administrators, and supportive parents.”

He appreciates his years leading the Green Wave Varsity Basketball program. “Delbarton is a great place to work and coach. I am thankful for the opportunities and support over the past 39 years. I am most thankful for all the friendships I've gained in my roles here, people in the Delbarton community, Morris County and all over New Jersey I have worked with and coached against. It's been an awesome journey and a lot of fun,” says Whalen. With the opening of the new 32,000-square-foot Pizzo Family Field House at Regan Stadium this spring, he is excited to have a new facility to oversee in his new role in charge of all athletic facilities on campus.

Fr. Michael lauded Whalen’s tenure as head coach:  "Dan Whalen has been an outstanding coach and role model for the young men of our basketball program. He has consistently prioritized the character formation of his players as equal in meaning to competitive success. We cannot thank him sufficiently for his sacrifices that have made our basketball program what it is.”

After four years of coaching both JV and varsity teams, incoming Head Coach Matt Crane takes over a program that finished 20-5 during the 2022-23 season after winning its second consecutive Morris County title. Crane is excited to begin and says, “I thank Father Michael and Coach Whalen for the opportunity to lead our program. I am committed to the continued development of young men of high character, and outstanding academic and athletic achievement in our basketball program.”

Crane also applauds Whalen for his three-plus decade on the job for Green Wave varsity basketball. “I congratulate Coach Whalen on an incredible coaching career. It’s been a privilege to work alongside him for the past four seasons. He has won over 500 games and 6 county championships and has been a staple of Morris County basketball for over three decades. My goal is to build on the strong tradition of Green Wave basketball, and I am honored at the opportunity to represent our great school.” Crane says. 

“We are excited for Matt Crane taking the helm of our basketball program,” says Fr. Michael. “Matt is also an enthusiastic formator of the character of our student-athletes, and we look forward to how he will advance Delbarton's Benedictine Catholic educational mission as a varsity basketball coach."

Whalen agrees. “Matt Crane has the respect of the players and other coaches and is the new voice the program needs, he says. “He has the basketball mind, work ethic, communication and technical skills to be very successful and lead this program. I know he will do great things in the years ahead.”

As he begins his new job, Crane will be inspired by Dan Whalen’s example. “Dan’s commitment to excellence and sportsmanship exemplifies Delbarton Athletics and is a model for us to follow.”