Ryan Stetz stepped down Friday as Nanticoke Area’s softball coach, three days after his team’s season ended in the PIAA Class 4A state semifinals.
Stetz coached Nanticoke Area for the past six seasons and had a 61-23 record in Wyoming Valley Conference regular-season games. He was an assistant for three years prior to taking over the program.
“It’s really every year the job is open and I’m just choosing not to reapply,” Stetz said. “Realistically, I think I’m in a good spot personally (with my family) and professionally in my life and will always care for the program. And for the program’s stake, it’s a great opportunity for the next person to come in with a great young team and an opportunity to play on a new field (at the high school).
“It seems like at this point it’s the right time to move on.”
Nanticoke Area is losing just two starters – pitcher Miranda Bohn and third baseman Megan Murphy. The Trojanettes finished second in Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference and finished as District 2 Class 4A runners-up.
“With the way the group of kids come through, it was in the back of my mind,” said Stetz, who teaches social studies at the high school. “When you’re around kids everyday, there are so many opportunities that realistically I wanted to leave it open to do other things professionally.
“Having Miranda and Murphy their seniors years, with this group, was definitely something special. We wanted to come out strong and represent our school and I think we did that to the best of our abilities.”
Stetz’s teams twice made it to within a win of playing for a state championship. Both times the Trojanettes lost to District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic. The other loss was in 2015 in the PIAA Class 3A state semifinals.
Stetz took over the program in 2013 after long-time coach Gary Williams resigned. He coached the Trojanettes to second-place finishes in Division 1 of the Wyoming Valley Conference in 2013 and 2014, both times ending up behind Hazleton Area.
The WVC realigned softball in 2015 and Nanticoke Area finished tied for first place in Division 2 with Wyoming Area, only to lose in a special playoff game to determine the champion. The Trojanettes went on to the District 2 Class 3A championship, the ninth district title in the program’s history.
In 2016, Nanticoke Area tied for the WVC Division 2 title, but once again lost in a special playoff game – this time to Tunkhannock. The Trojanettes broke through in 2017 by winning the WVC Division 2 crown.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar