Greg Janos’ career plan called for the 41-year-old middle school science teacher and assistant ice hockey coach to take the next step and become the head man of a program.
He could not have asked for a better situation than the one he inherits at John Jay High School.
“Unfortunately, COVID shut down the Harvey (hockey) season,” Janos said. “I knew that Alex (Smith) had retired and John Jay has a phenomenal program with kids that are really committed to the sport on and off the ice.”
He continued, “My career goal was to become a head coach and after I met several times with (Jay Athletic Director) Chris (McCarthy), we were able to work everything out. I am excited to be part of the winning culture that surrounds the program.”
A 1998 graduate of the Harvey School, where he played hockey as well as basketball, soccer and lacrosse, Janos attended State University of New York at Morrisville for two years where he continued his hockey career on the collegiate level. He transferred to Towson University in Maryland and played two years of club hockey there, helping the Tigers reach the national tournament both seasons. He graduated in 2005 with a degree in science and stayed in the Baltimore area for several years before moving back to the Hudson Valley.
A native of Wappingers Falls, he earned his master’s degree in education from Manhattanville College in 2013.
Janos brings with him a wealth of hockey coaching experience, starting with his time in Maryland where he worked with the Baltimore Stars. Locally, he has coached the Bedford Bears, as well as serving as an assistant at Mahopac back in 2011.
“Every year is different when it comes to coaching,” Janos said. “I am very hard on myself and I do a lot of self-evaluating.”
Longtime Jay assistant ice hockey coach Joe Posadas is returning in that same role this winter.
Janos lives on Harvey’s Katonah campus where he oversees the dormitories.
Married to Leanne, the couple has two children — a son, Chase, 4, and a daughter, Marin, who is almost 2. Chase will begin kindergarten in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District this coming September.
“I think it’s important to be part of the community and, next year, with Chase starting kindergarten, we will be playing a larger role,” Janos said.
In addition to being an assistant on Harvey’s hockey team the past six years, Janos has also been the girls lacrosse head coach the past eight seasons.
Janos succeeds Alex Smith as head coach at Jay. Smith coached the Jay program from 1999 through the 2002-03 season, then took seven seasons off before returning in 2009. He retired with a lifetime mark of 185-100-18.
Smith led Jay to Section I/Division 2 championships in 2013, 2018 and 2019. Each of those seasons ended with trips to the state final four, including a loss in the state final in 2013.
“I have known Alex (Smith) for a long time,” Janos said. “He and I had a great conversation the other day for about 45 minutes, talking about all things hockey and John Jay hockey.”
He continued, “I am just thrilled with this opportunity.”
Janos added, “I have met the kids and we have had some open workouts where they have been doing skill work and conditioning. The best part of all of this is that I am a hockey guy and the players are all hockey guys. When we are out there on the ice, it is all business.”