October 21, 2022
New Jersey is filled with many passionate coaches who help guide junior, youth, and high school level athletes and students to learn and excel at the sport of volleyball. Today, we celebrate the life and contributions to the game of volleyball by JP Stevens Head Coach Anthony White. Most of us are all still in a state of shock we learned of Coach Anthony’s passing this past week at the age of 43. For his students, both boys and girls who played on his teams at JP Stevens, it has been a sobering week filled with emotion as well as a pure reality check to treasure your friends and loved ones as we never know what tomorrow brings.
But for Anthony, we are sure he has left this world knowing the many young athletes he has positively influenced over his career in both the sport that he loved and in life as individuals. Coach has been described as a passionate volleyball fanatic, but also the type of person that was there to talk through challenges students may have been having or lending a helping hand as a mentor or teacher on subjects far outside of the game he coached. These are the qualities that Anthony will be remembered by his students, his peers, and by the volleyball community as a whole.
Our own interactions with Coach Anthony, although limited, revealed an individual who always seemed electrified by coaching the game that he loved. If JPS was hosting a tournament or tri-match, he was the guy in the hallways directing people to the right gym, and beaming his excitement for you joining him to celebrate something special going on at his school. He may have had a clipboard in his hand that contained his notes for the upcoming match. But his exuberance was contagious and made you excited to be on his schools court.
We all wish we can go back in time when things like this happen in our life to get one more chance to communicate our appreciation that is sometimes assumed and left unsaid. These past few years, we have certainly experienced a world filled with volatility and not knowing what can happen next. It gives us the chance to have a new perspective daily and learn a life lesson.
The Hawks entered this season for his girls team knowing they may have a slightly different year than the past two. JP Stevens was 27-9 over the two “Covid” years from 2020-2021. They finished the 2020 season with just 2 losses and made the county finals in 2021. The boys had a very successful winning season this past fall putting up 16 victories. But you got the sense that there was more to Coach and his philosophy than how many wins were put up on the board each season. We reached out to several former players for their views. And this is what they told us…
“Coach White was the picture of humility, always placing the needs of his team above is own. His passion for the game and love for both his players and students will sorely be missed but continue to live on and be felt. I’m heartbroken to say good-bye so early to the first coach who brought me to the game of volleyball and helped create the foundation of my high school experience.” – Simrin Carlsen, Current sophomore at Johns Hopkins University
“He was such an amazing coach, friend and mentor. I never once saw him upset through the many years I’ve known him and he always had such an amazing attitude towards life. He personally helped me with my recruiting process and he was someone who was always there for me whether its needing help in some of my classes or just asking for advice in life. He was always so happy to help me out and he really embodied so many amazing value I hope to one day portray as strongly as he did.” – Jon Bernstein, Current sophomore at Rutgers University
“First off, I would like to send my prayers and condolences to his family and I wish them all the best. Hearing the news this morning was truly heartbreaking. Coach White played a monumental role in my development, not only as a player but as an individual. I could not have asked for a better coach. We will all miss him very dearly.” – Armaan Ghotra, Current freshman at Rutgers University
But the certain takeway from this tragic loss is that we cherish the time we had with this amazing mentor, teacher, and self-less leader, who valued giving more of himself to others than to himself. And we remember him by exemplifying the values he lived by and imparted on thousands of people over his lifetime. Rest in Peace Coach.
We also wanted to share some of the personal messages from his tribute page that captured his impact on the lives of so many as a teacher. You can see all of the tributes at this link… TRIBUTE PAGE
“I am forever broken by Anthony’s passing. He was not only my colleague but my friend. Watching Anthony teach was magical because he was well, just magical! His infectious smile and kind heart made him likable by everyone who met him. He not only made me a better person but a better teacher. Anthony was my rock and person at JP for 20 years who treated me as his equal and I will miss him each and everyday. He was so proud of his volleyball players, his bowlers, being a part of football games and of course his students. Anthony, I will miss you and love you forever my dear friend! Thank you for all our years together in the classroom, our intense and silly conversations, your unconditional friendship and most of all for being you!” – Kylie Lasko
We are so heartbroken about this incredible loss. We are thinking about you and grieving with you. Mr. White coached my sons (class of 2009 and 2018) at JP Stevens HS boys volleyball. He was an amazing person and excellent coach. All players liked and respected him. He put in a lot of effort to motivate and improve the team. Under his leadership, the boys volleyball program made it to top-10 in the state. Mr. White touched so many lives in the very best way. I’m grateful I got the chance to know him when I was a team parent. Every time I saw him, he was smiling and saying: Mrs. Li, thank you. I have so many wonderful memories of him. I wish we said goodbye to him in person this summer before we moved. We are going to miss him greatly and he will live on in our hearts forever. Mr. White, may you rest In eternal peace! – Yinhong Li
“Coach White… more than a coach, more than a teacher. This man was a friend and a mentor to all of his students and players. I had the pleasure of meeting Coach White, his brother, and parents when I used to go to all of my older sister’s volleyball matches. Slowly but surely Coach White would get me on the court during warm ups and get me playing. I’m happy to say I was part of his Varsity squad for 3 years and getting named as a captain. We shared a lot of great memories together. He made sure all of his players were taken care of on and off the court going as far as driving players home if needed and even helping my teammates get into different colleges. I could write a few more pages and that still wouldn’t be enough. To Coach White, my friend, my coach.. we will all miss you! May you rest easy and fly high for us Hawks!” – Tyler Uckar
“Coach, Of all the fond JPS volleyball memories I have, you’re in all of them. Thanks for selflessly being a part of my life as a mentor, a coach, and a friend. You’ll be missed and may you rest in peace.” – Shalin Patel
“Mr. White, you were truly an inspiration to me, you were and will always be my favorite teacher. I learned so many interesting topics in your class and will always be thankful for having you as my homeroom teacher, getting to see you every morning made the day just a little bit brighter. I will miss you and thank you for being someone to turn to. Rest In Peace my dear friend.” – Michael Wheeler
“Coach White was not only an amazing teacher and coach but a great person. He made school a fun place to be. He always had a smile on his face that you couldn’t help but smile with him. Sending all of my love to his family!” – Jordan Paolello