By Brian Deakyne
LITTLE SILVER – After two years at the helm of the Red Bank baseball program, head coach and athletic director Louis DalPra has decided to step down.
Citing a desire to spend more time with his family, DalPra said he will continue as the school’s athletic director, but he feels it’s important to him to be with his three sons and wife. DalPra has been the Red Bank athletic director for five years.
“I have three little boys that I need to be with,” DalPra said. “My goal has always been to win a state championship. Now, it’s to be a good father and a good husband.”
DalPra, who played high school baseball at Rumson-Fair Haven, had an illustrious coaching career before taking over the Bucs program in 2012. He spent time with Rumson-Fair Haven and Henry Hudson regional high schools and Ocean County College before turning Ocean Township into a baseball powerhouse for nine seasons.
During the nine years he was leading the Spartans, Ocean Township won four division titles and three state sectional championships.
Along with spending more time with his family, DalPra said he also wanted to have the opportunity to focus on other athletic programs that are taking off at Red Bank.
“We have some good programs that are going to take off here in the next few years, and I’m looking forward to being involved in that, not just in the spring, but in the fall, too.” DalPra said.
In two seasons under DalPra, Red Bank compiled a 25-27 record. The Bucs were at the heart of controversy this season after an in-game brawl with Rumson-Fair Haven that resulted in 36 ejections and made both teams ineligible for the state tournament.
Despite that, though, the Bucs rallied to finish the season over .500 with a 13-12 record. Red Bank finished in fifth place in B-North this year.
The role of athletic director didn’t interfere with that of being a head coach, DalPra said. In fact, it was the opposite.
“That was the easy part and it worked hand-in-hand,” DalPra said of handling both jobs. “The balancing act wasn’t difficult; it was being away from my family. At times, it felt like I was being a good coach, but a bad father and husband.”
Along with working as an athletic director, DalPra wants to help the youth leagues in Little Silver, Red Bank and Shrewsbury evolve. He was a major force in the junior Bucs wrestling program, and now he wants to help a Little League program in town.
“That’s something that affects me and my family. I have three little boys that might be playing three different sports or on three different teams.”
A new head baseball coach won’t be named until after the summer, DalPra said, because the new coach will have to be approved by the school board.