PISCATAWAY, NJ - Shawnee High School’s highly-successful head football coach Tim Gushue will be the recipient of the seventh annual John Bateman “Winners for Life” Award, named after the former Rutgers University head coach. Gushue will receive his award at halftime of the Rutgers-South Florida football game.
Bateman served as head football coach at Rutgers from 1960-72, and compiled a record of 73-51. The impact he had on his players extended far beyond wins and losses. The award is sponsored by the Bateman Foundation, a group of his former players. The foundation honors a New Jersey high school football coach who best exemplifies John Bateman’s ideals of developing players’ character and academic competence. A committee of Bateman’s former players selects the recipient of the Bateman Award.
“Our committee, all of whom played or worked with Dr. John Bateman when he coached at Rutgers, believe that a great football coach does more than win football games,” said Alex Kroll, a 1961 first-team All-American center at Rutgers. “He helps his players win throughout their lives. He can be a mentor, teacher, role model and part-time father. Dr. Bateman was a great role model himself. Football, to him, was a way of enhancing a young man’s education, while it strengthened his character and capacity to contribute to the community. When he passed away in 1998, we decided that the best way to honor his memory was to honor coaches who bring his principles to life.”
A 1976 graduate of West Chester University, Gushue has been active in many organizations throughout his career. He served as president of the New Jersey Football Coaches Association from 2000-2001. From 2000-2002 he was an NJSIAA Football Committee member. He has served as the New Jersey Football Coaches Association Annual State Football Clinic director since 2000. Gushue has also served as an assistant coach for the South team in several New Jersey North-South All-Star Games. From 2003-2004, he served as president of the Burlington County Football Club and in 2002 was an assistant coach at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, TX.
Gushue led the Renegades to a perfect 12-0 record in 2004. They won the Burlington-Olympic League American Division and the South Jersey Group 4 championship. Gushue was a Shawnee assistant for six years before he took over the reins from Dave Spinella in 1983
"He's like a father to me," said Luke Bonus, an all-county defensive back on the 2004 Shawnee team. "These have been the best four years of my life. I couldn't ask for a better program or a better coach. He's so passionate about everything and he cares about every kid."
Shawnee posted four shutouts on the way to it second South Jersey Group 4 title in three years. They shut out five opponents. They also produced a 1,000-yard rusher for just the second time in the history of the program - Offensive Player of the Year Evan Francks.
Previous Bateman Winners For Life Award Selections
1999 Pierce Frauenheim - Immaculata High School
2000 Warren Wolf - Brick Township High School
2001 Jim Horner - Cherokee HS & Haddonfield HS
2002 Frank Bottone - New Providence HS
2003 Don Smolyn - Lenape Valley Regional HS
2004 Vic Paternostro - Pope John XXIII HS