Marisa’s impact on Hunterdon Central football coach Casey Ransone and vice versa


Upon leaving St. Joseph to become the head football coach at Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Casey Ransone, who Home News Tribune sports writer Greg Tufaro holds in the highest regard and is honored to call a friend, explained to the Falcons and their parents in a private email his reasons for departing.

In that correspondence, Casey, who also left his job as a director of admissions and transportation at St. Joseph to become a health and physical education teacher at Hunterdon Central, made reference to Marisa’s untimely passing while reflecting on fatherhood.

Coach Ransone picking strawberries with his children Giavonna and Casey Jr.

Eliminating a lengthy daily round-trip commute to Metuchen afforded Casey, who resides just a couple of miles from Hunterdon Central in Flemington, the opportunity to spend more time with his wife and their two young children, although leaving his second family – that being the Falcons – proved to be emotionally difficult.

Following is an excerpt from Casey’s private April 17 email to his St. Joseph players and their parents, which is being reprinted here with the coach’s permission:

From: Casey Ransone
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2017 9:17 PM
To: Tufaro, Greg
Subject: letter

First and foremost, I am not leaving you guys. Boxing everyone up and shipping you to Flemington would be great, but it is impossible. The opportunity presented was too good for me to pass by. My wife has made many sacrifices for me to do what I love and it would be a selfish act not to take advantage of what Hunterdon Central has offered. We preach every day that family is always your first priority. Every morning I read a beautiful tribute from a father to his daughter who tragically passed away. What makes this tribute even more heartbreaking to read is because we know the person who wrote it. There is one particular part that hits home. “I will forever live with one heartbreaking regret: I did not get to spend enough quality moments with my beautiful daughter because I struggled, like all parents, to find a healthy balance between work and family. I implore parents of school-age children, or any-age children for that matter, to do something special on an ordinary day with their kids.” Why do I read this every morning? It puts things in perspective for me very quickly. I have missed out on a lot of things with Michelle, Giavonna and Casey Jr. I value every minute I’m able to devote to my family. We aren’t guaranteed how much time we have on this planet and this allows me to spend a lot more time with them. You all have great foundations at home, parents who love you. Don’t ever take the time you have with them for granted.  Put down the cell phones and iPad.  Spend time with your family.

Casey’s words have left an indelible impression on many, including Greg, whose story about the coach’s hiring at Hunterdon Central can be found here.


Following her heart transplant, Marisa returned home from the hospital to find a St. Joseph sweatshirt, a get-well card the team signed, and a gift card from the Falcon football family.

After Marisa passed, more than a dozen players joined Casey and some of his assistant coaches to attend her wake, at which the aforementioned green and white St. Joseph sweatshirt was displayed.

Marisa still remains close to Casey’s heart and we know that she is watching over the coach and his family.

As coach would say: ONE

Screen grab of text message Casey sent to Greg reprinted with Coach Ransone’s permission




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