The time was right for Riley to step down

In between Newport’s final baseball game of the regular season and its playoff game, Ken Riley made the announcement to the team at a dinner that he would be retiring from the Cubs after 16 seasons as the head coach — and 30 years with the program in some capacity. With 302 wins, a handful of conference titles, six semifinal appearances, three championship appearances and a state title won in 2008, Riley entered the 2018 season knowing that it would likely be his last as the head coach. “I just felt like I knew it was time,” Riley said. “Every year I do an inventory of my life, in all aspects not just in coaching, and at the end of last year I just felt it was time to start the transformation of the program. Fortunately I was able to help the next coach, all of those moons kind of aligned perfectly for me and the program.” Being a varsity head coach wasn’t just a three-month gig, it became a year-long job. “I wanted to go out on my own terms before it started to feel like a job,” Riley said. “I love coaching, I didn’t want to get to a point where I didn’t love coaching.”

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