PORTLAND—Who said you can’t go home again?

Robbie Ferrante, a Portland High graduate, will return for a third stint as the school’s softball coach, PHS athletic director Rob O’Leary announced Thursday.

Ferrante, Class of 1972, who spent 17 previous seasons with the Bulldogs, including a six-year run as the program’s head coach from 2003-08, replaces Kelly Libby, who led Portland to a 5-11 mark, its best record in six seasons, last spring.

Ferrante, who coached McAuley the past five seasons, compiling a 40-44 mark and leading the Lions to three playoff berths, hinted after leaving that position that we hadn’t heard the last from him.

“I saw the Portland job open and thought it might be fun to go home,” Ferrante said. “I think I still have something left in me.”

O’Leary said that Ferrante’s return was a very good thing for the program.

“He was definitely the best candidate for the job,” O’Leary said. “He has coaching experience and he knows the Portland public school system well. You know what you get with Robbie.”

Ferrante went 66-42 as Portland’s head coach, a run which was highlighted by winning the Class A state championship in 2004, the Bulldogs’ eighth and most recent title.

While the Portland program has struggled in recent years (winning just six total games between 2008-13), last year’s resurgence has provided hope that a return to the glory days isn’t far off.

“Our program’s grown,” O’Leary said. “We now have a JV program. We want to continue having success and grow and Robbie’s the person to help us do that.”

“I hear the numbers could be very good,” Ferrante said. “There are some really good athletes at the freshman and sophomore levels. The program has definitely improved the past couple years. I know the girls are hungry to win again. Softball is a fun team sport. We hope to be competitive right away.”

With John Moody recently stepping down at Deering, every varsity softball program in the city of Portland will have a new coach next spring.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements

He’s back. Robbie Ferrante returns for a third stint as Portland’s softball coach.

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