JF Football Camps, LLC
Head Coach Jerry Flora, Jr.
Jerry Flora is in his ninth season as William Paterson’s head football coach in 2016, and his 15th year overall as a member of the WP staff. This fall, Flora is responsible for recruiting efforts in Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union and Warren Counties as well as community colleges, and he is coordinating the Pioneers’ strength and conditioning efforts while working closely with the offense.
Flora’s continued emphasis on building a family-like atmosphere, all while creating a deeper sense of commitment on and off the field, has paid dividends for the program’s student-athletes.
During the last three campaigns, 24 WP student-athletes were selected to the All-New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Team, including 2013 NJAC Special Teams Player of the Year Julian Frazier. Second-team all-league offensive lineman Dashawn Johnson became the third Pioneer of Flora’s tenure to receive a professional tryout, earning an invitation to the Green Bay Packers’ rookie orientation camp before being signed to the practice squad of the Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators. Additionally, 30 student-athletes garnered academic all-league laurels during a four-year span, including academic all-district selections German Decena (2012), Ryan Gresik (2013) and Jake Stockton-Rossini (2014).
In 2012, six Pioneers earned all-NJAC accolades as WP finished 5-5 overall. Decena was named one of the 10 male national finalists for the Diverse: Issues In Higher Education 2013 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award, while Flora served as one of the head coaches in the inaugural Dream Bowl Senior All-Star Game. Additionally, former cornerback Leer Biddle joined the pro ranks, signing with the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul.
Nine individuals picked up all-conference awards in 2011, and in 2010, WP got off to a 4-1 start to the season, the program’s best since 1992. Seven Pioneers were all-league honorees, including D3football.com first-team all-American Biddle, and the program collected seven academic all-conference awards, led by Decena’s first of three selections as an Arthur Ashe., Jr. National Sports Scholar.
In 2009, the Pioneers were postseason eligible for the second time in three years with a 5-5 overall mark and a 4-5 record in the NJAC. Eleven of his charges were selected to the all-conference team, including first-team wide receiver Joel Rivera, who earned an invitation to the New York Jets’ rookie mini-camp. In the classroom, five Pioneers were acknowledged for their achievements by the league office, including Arthur Ashe, Jr. National Sports Scholar Dan Jones.
During his first season at the helm, Flora led the Pioneers to a 4-6 overall record during the 2008 campaign, including a 3-6 slate in NJAC action. William Paterson posted a 4-1 home record, the most victories at Wightman Stadium since 1993 (4-2). Eight members of the program earned all-NJAC laurels, including NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Year Doug Dudek. Flora’s quick-strike philosophy as the offensive coordinator made the Pioneers one of the most prolific passing attacks in the league, as William Paterson improved from second-to-last (127.6 yards/game) in the 2006 NJAC stats to fourth (218.9 yards/game) in the 2008 team rankings.
During the 2007 campaign, his last as an assistant coach, Flora mentored the wide receivers and served as the recruiting coordinator, strength and conditioning coordinator and passing game coordinator while also managing many of the program’s administrative duties.
In his six years as a Pioneer assistant coach, Flora helped to recruit and develop several all-conference performers, including Pioneer all-time career receiving yardage and receptions leaders Kareen Moon, and later, Rivera. During each of his six seasons, one of Flora’s wide receivers earned all-conference laurels (Bryant Richardson, 2002-03; Moon, 2004-07). In addition, he was instrumental in the recruitment of several other all-NJAC performers, including former standouts Gresik (2012, 2013), the Pioneers’ all-time passing leader, Chris Schule (2009), Keith Sayball (2009), Jeffrey Arista (2008), Chuck Patterson (2007), Frank Musolino (2007), Shadee Davis (2005), Tim Dolan (2006), Dan Casasnovas (2005-06) and Tom Larsen (2003, 2005).
Prior to arriving at William Paterson, Flora coached at Division I-AA Iona College (1992-96, 1998-2001), mentoring the wide receivers. Also the special teams coordinator and alumni relations liaison, he helped lead his alma mater to the inaugural Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) title in 1993. In between, Flora was the offensive line coach at FDU-Florham (1997-98).
Flora was a three-year starter at offensive tackle at Iona before emerging as the starting tight end his senior year, earning an invitation to try-out for the 1992 Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.
Flora runs JF Camps LLC for boys in grades K-8 in Westchester County (N.Y.), using the event to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer research. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Iona in 1992, and a master’s in school administration from the same school in 2002. Flora and his wife, Diane, have three children: Francis, and twins Charlotte and Dominic.