The Official Site of Jersey Shore Boca Jr. FC

Goodbye Frank – Big Apple Soccer
October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009
Big Apple Soccer

Boca coach Santos passes away

Frank Santos, one of the original members of the Jersey Shore Boca coaching ranks, passed away in Toms River, N.J. Monday. He was 79.

Santos put his name into the club history books along with fellow Boca coach Dave Ellis, as they led three Jersey Shore Boca youth teams to three New Jersey State Cup championships between 1991 and 1995.

Santos also was part of the coaching staff for the Boca’s Northeast Super Soccer League team of 1990 and directed several other Boca youth teams for several years.

He was responsible for mentoring some of the best players to come out of the Boca program, including Marlon LeBlanc (Hightstown), a former All-American at Penn State University and current head men’s soccer coach at West Virginia University, and Erik Burstein (Toms River), a former professional player in England and current women’s soccer coach at Kutztown University.

“Frank was a major reason why I decided to come to Jersey Shore Boca. He had a passion for the game and a desire for his players to play with that same passion,” LeBlanc said.

“Frank encouraged his players to play the game without fear, to take chances and to be creative. He wanted his teams to play with flair and express themselves. It was under his guidance that our Boca teams achieved so much but we were also regarded as one of the best ‘futbol’ playing sides because of his coaching.

“His energy, smile and loving demeanor will forever be remembered by those of us that were lucky enough to have known him. Frank’s pure love for the game has influenced so many of us and for that I am truly grateful and indebted to him.”

Burstein added his condolences and memories.

“This is a very sad day for the Jersey Shore Boca family. Coach Santos was not only a dedicated coach and wonderful motivator, he was truly one of the most supportive and caring coaches I have ever had the privilege of playing for,” he said.

“His undying passion for the game and his genuine concern for all the players he came in contact with is something I carry with me today. His passion for coaching, and his love and respect for the game in general, had a massive impact on our team and all the players he worked with.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time. He was a great man and he will be dearly missed and respectfully remembered.”

Santos was born in Lisbon, Portugal and resided in Kearny, N.J. before moving to Toms River in 1973.

He was a former professional player as a teenager for Portugal’s Club Athletico. Santos came to the United States in the late 1940s and played for the Portuguese Sports Club of Newark.

He also played for in American Soccer League, the Elizabeth Germans and the Scotch Americans, whom he went on to coach after retiring. After moving to Toms River, Santos continued coaching youth and professional soccer for 20 years.

A visitation for Santos will be held on Friday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. at the Carmona-Bolen Home for Funerals, 412 Main Street in Toms River, N.J.

A mass of Christian burial will be offered at St. Justin’s Church, Fisher Boulevard in Toms River at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. A burial will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Toms River.