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5 Names From N.J. With a Delaware Connection

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Delaware is so close, yet so far away in so many ways, but you may be surprised to realize what well known Jersey people have a connection with The First State in some way.

Being someone who worked for over 9 years in Delaware, I’ve gotten to know the state very well and have grown to love so many things from Rehoboth Beach, to its close proximity to Philly, and for finding my girlfriend there, but I have to come back to where I grew up for good pizza, real bagels, my job, and to see my family (just about all my relatives are in N.J.)

There is some debate between who has the better beach, the better french fries, the better boardwalks, the better university ……. There should not be an argument about who’s better than who!  Both New Jersey and Delaware are great places, and I can bring you 5 familiar names that could defend this argument.  You might be shocked to see who is connected to both states:

1) Jeff Trout

Back in 1983, Trout was the captain of the University of Delaware baseball team and led the Blue Hens to a East Coast Conference title (37-16).  He went on to be drafted in the 5th Round of the ’83 amateur draft by the Minnesota Twins, and hit over .300 in 4 minor league seasons for the organization.  Although Jeff never accomplished his major league dreams, he is a successful family man in South Jersey and the very proud father of baseball’s hottest new star – Mike Trout!

2) Chris Christie

Yes, our governor is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in Political Science (Class of 1984).  He wife Mary Pat is also a U. of D. alum.  Christie is a proud New Jersey man (and he likes being governor of N.J.), but he does bleed a little Delaware Blue.

3) John Wallace Jr.

The former justice on the N.J. Supreme Court celebrated his 70th birthday this year, and was the 1st justice in over 60 years to be denied tenure by Gov. Christie back in 2010 (he was the only African-American serving on the Supreme Court for the state).  The weird coincidence is that Wallace and Christie are both alum of the University of Delaware (Wallace is from the Class of 1964).  Wallace is living in Glouchester County and hopefully enjoying his retirement.

4) Elizabeth Shue and Andrew Shue

The famed brother/sister actors were born in Wilmington, but grew up in North Jersey.  Their father James ran in 1970 for a congressional seat in DC to represent N.J., but was unsuccessful.  Elizabeth was first seen by many in The Karate Kid, was an Academy Award nominee for Leaving Las Vegas, has been a star for decades in Hollywood, and is now starring for the 1st time on TV for CBS with CSI.  Andrew spent the 90s at Melrose Place, went on to have a short lived professional soccer career, and was last seen on the big screen in the 2007 flick Gracie.

5) K.C. Keeler

Many in South Jersey remember the success Keeler had as the head coach at Rowan University in Glassboro.  In his 9 seasons for Rowan football, Keeler had a .800 winning percentage (88-21-1) between 1993-2001, went to the NCAA Division III title game 5 times without winning.  Now the head coach at Delaware, Keeler won the 2003 NCAA Division I-AA title, and recently won his 170th game of his coaching career (now in his 11th season for the Blue Hens).

 

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