STHS baseball skipper resigns
South Tahoe High varsity baseball coach Ralph Clelan resigned Thursday. He cited a desire to pursue other interests as the main reasoning behind the decision.
“I’m kind of torn. It’s a sad day,” Clelan said. “I can’t give my full commitment to coaching right now.”
South Tahoe athletic director Frank Kovac confirmed the resignation.
“We’re really going to miss him and appreciate all the time he put in with the student-athletes,” Kovac said.
Clelan exits with a three-year record of 28-56. A 1986 South Tahoe graduate, he was also a Vikings junior varsity head coach for two seasons and an assistant for another five.
“I’ll miss putting on a uniform, being on the ball field and being around kids like Greg Bruso and Bret Uppendahl. They’ve been pretty special,” Clelan said. “I’ve said before that this year was the best group of kids I’ve had. This was the first time in 10 years that no one was ineligible. That says a lot. I’m just sorry we didn’t do better.”
Clelan’s tenure didn’t change the fact that South Tahoe has just one playoff appearance in at least 10 years. His 1997-98 squad finished 5-17 in league play and 7-19 overall.
“Winning makes everything easy to be around in a program and not winning a lot is tough. But (not winning) really didn’t have much to do with my decision,” Clelan said.
While continually battling the elements to practice outside, Clelan said unwavering parental support, while not a major factor for him, will be of utmost importance for a yet-to-be-named successor.
“Somebody asked me if I was getting out because of the parents. Every year there’s some who aren’t happy. It never really bothered me because they weren’t out there sharing the same blood, sweat and tears that we were,” said Clelan, South Tahoe’s fifth coach since 1986. “The school has backed me up 100 percent no matter what I’ve done. Whoever takes over is going to have to love baseball. I really hope they can turn this thing around.”
Kovac plans to deliver Clelan’s resignation to the school district office on Friday. That entity will then open the position to potential applicants.
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