Notre Dame Athletic Director, Rich Roche, announced the promotion of P.J. Barrett to Head Coach of the Notre Dame's Boys Soccer Program. Barrett replaces Dan Donigan who led the Irish for one memorable season.
"I want to thank Principal Barlow and Coach Roche for the opportunity to be the next Boys Varsity Soccer Coach. I am excited to be part of the the Notre Dame family and looking forward to working to ensure our students receive the guidance and necessary experiences to be successful on and off the field," Barrettt said. "I am confident that this will be a great relationship and am anxious to get started."
"Coach Donigan did a lot for Notre Dame Boys Soccer in one year. We are sad to see him go but completely understand that he has to do what is best for his family's future," said Roche. "One thing Dan did is put together a great coaching staff. Promoting a coach of P.J.'s caliber is kind of a no-brainer." Roche spoke to Barrett's character, head coaching experience and his pedigree as a player in the Mercer County area. "P.J. is a guy that everyone in the soccer community holds in very high regard. I think the transition will be seamless and good for our players. Dan started something special. I know P.J. will build on it."
A former Lawrence High School standout, Barrett played college soccer for the 1991 National Champions Mercer County College. He then went on to finish his playing career at the College of New Jersey where he later earned his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. An USSF licensed coach; Barrett has continued to give back to the community through the game of soccer by training both girls and boys in the surrounding areas for the last 23 years. In four years as Lawrence High School’s boy’s varsity coach he guided the team to 4 state tournament appearances and 28 All County/All-State selections. In addition to his playing and coaching achievements, Barrett has been honored by the community as a member of Lawrence High School's Hall of Honor, Lawrence High School 's Athletic Hall of Fame, Eldridge Park School's Teacher of the Year, honorary coach of the Glenn Myernick High School Senior All Star Game, and former board member of the New Jersey Soccer Coaches Association of New Jersey.
"While I am very sad to see Danny go, I am excited and honored for the opportunity to be the next boys Varsity soccer coach at Notre Dame," said Barrett. "I look forward to building upon last year’s success and solidifying the future through a commitment to the players, our school, and the sport of soccer."
The Irish posted a 17-4 record last season and advanced to the Mercer County Tournament championship game. Then they advanced to the Non-Public South A semifinals. "Danny and I have worked closely together over the last year and share the same vision for Notre Dame," added Barrett. "He is leaving a very talented group of returning players to build upon and with a similar vision, it will be up to us, the coaching staff and the players to help see it come to fruition."
"I want to thank Dan for being a great leader and ambassador for Notre Dame Soccer," Roche said. "While we will miss him, he left us in a better place. I have every confidence that P.J. will be a great coach for us."
Located on 100 beautiful acres in Central New Jersey, Notre Dame High School, founded in 1957, is a college preparatory school for grades 9 - 12, preparing young men and women for lives of purpose, built upon a foundation of Catholic faith, with a commitment to academics, co-curricular activities and service to others.