Rutherford celebrates career milestones for Lord and Antzoulides

Coach Antzoulides get 500th career volleyball win while the high school dedicates the gym to Joan Lord.

A Rutherford Legacy

Joan Lord: a name all Rutherfordians love to hear. She was part of our Rutherford High School family for over 40 years, coming from St. Marys (Rutherford) after eight years as a teacher and coach. In 2020, Mrs. Lord left our RHS family, retiring after over 40 years of teaching.

On October 2, 2021, the 100 Gymnasium was formally renamed the Joan Lord Gymnasium. After the dedication, Rutherford and St. Marys hit it off with an exciting game, with Rutherford defeating St. Marys in two sets, leading to the 500th win of head volleyball coach Helen Antzoliudes.

Mrs. Lord was one to help kickstart the volleyball program at St. Marys and helped coach at Rutherford as well. Mrs. Lord explained that, when her children were young, she would lock the doors to the gym so they could run around and play while she practiced. Multitasking was one of her greatest talents as a teacher and coach. So, it was only fitting that, after her retirement, the perfect way to honor her legendary service to RHS was to name the gym (her second home!) after her.

On the bright side, Mrs. Lord is still happily working the driving school to ensure all of us are safe on the road. We could not thank Mrs. Lord enough for everything she did for our community. She was the most selfless human, always putting the students first. She went above and beyond for every high school even to make sure everyone loved it and would remember it for a lifetime.

500 for Antzoulides

After the dedication to Mrs. Lord, coach Antzoulides and the volleyball team punctuated the event by securing another win for the undefeated Bulldogs and securing Coach A’s 500th career win.

Antzoulides has been a volleyball coach for over 30 years. She came from Paterson Catholic as the coach for 12 years and has been head coach at Rutherford for 18. It was a great day seeing a new gym dedication and a 500th win title.

In an exclusive interview with Antzoulides, she expressed how all the teams she coached in years past lead her up to this point. She is beyond proud of every single player she has coached leading up to this point. Antzoulides hit her 300th win against Tenafly in the county tournament, year unknown.

Some seasons have been better than others–some seasons were 27-0 and others were 2- 20. When asked if she would ever think she would reach this point with blow-out seasons, she responded,” I never thought about the numbers. I think the thing I am most proud of is longevity and I was able to withstand the ups and downs through 30 years.”

Throughout this whole journey, Antzoulides has not been alone. This year, she has a new addition to her coaching staff, Coach Andrea Marino. Marino has had coaching experience at William Paterson University, Wood-Ridge High School, and Hawthorne High School. She has a very intelligent sense of the game and has helped guide this year’s team to their present success. When Antzoulides was asked how much she loves her best friend by her side on the bench she responded,” Having one of your best friends by your side is very technical because it gives another aspect and hearing things in a different manner. I love the new addition of Marino and the future of Rutherford volleyball if very bright!”