It only took Robbie Ferrante one year to realize he missed high school softball. And the place he returned to was the place where he started.

Ferrante, who resigned as Portland High’s softball coach after the 2008 season, will return this spring as the head softball coach at McAuley High in Portland.

“I just missed it,” said Ferrante, who led the Bulldogs to the 2004 Class A state championship.

“This is a pretty good opportunity for me, it being a local school and the fact that I worked there before. I just missed the game.”

Ferrante, 55, replaced Danielle Salvaggio, who led the Lions to a 4-12 record last year.

He had been the head coach at McAuley from 1978-90. After taking a year off, he became the Portland assistant coach for 10 years before taking over as head coach. He coached the Bulldogs for seven years with a 68-34 record.

In a statement, McAuley Athletic Director Joe Kilmartin said Ferrante “brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his days as a player for the one-time regional power Olympia Sports team and as a successful high school coach. Having some very strong candidates for the position, Robbie stood out.”

Ferrante will meet with his new players next week.

“We’ll see what we have,” he said. “I know when I worked there in the past, we had a lot of kids who were hard workers.”

Ferrante had resigned from the Bulldogs because he felt he needed a break. “I went to a few games last year and I missed it,” he said. “I thought that if the right opportunity came along, I wouldn’t mind getting back into it.

“Then I was sitting at home one day and saw the McAuley job had opened up. The next morning I called (Kilmartin) and he told me to get my paperwork together and that we’d talk.”

When Ferrante returns, it’s to a new game: The pitching rubber has been moved back to 43 feet from 40.

“I’m not that concerned with it,” he said. “I still think the better pitchers are going to be strong.”

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]