Robbie Ferrante has been hired as Portland High softball coach, rejoining a program he guided to the Class A state championship in 2004.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to basically go home,” said Ferrante, 60, a Portland High graduate.

After 10 seasons as an assistant, Ferrante became the Bulldogs’ head coach in 2003 and coached six seasons.

Ferrante coached McAuley from 2010-14. He resigned after leading the Lions to an 8-8 regular season and a 2-0 preliminary- round loss at Noble last spring. He was also McAuley’s coach from 1979-90.

Ferrante has 201 career wins.

“We did some interviews and Robbie was the best candidate,” Portland Athletic Director Robert O’Leary said. “He knows the Portland students.”


After resigning from his position at McAuley, Ferrante hinted he could return to softball, saying, “I think I still have coaching left in me, but we’ll see.”

Ferrante replaces Kelly Libby. Portland was 5-11 last season.

“I know that was their best record in the past three seasons, and following the other sports, I know the girls have been very competitive, so I hope I can get some of them involved,” Ferrante said.

Portland still needs a baseball coach to replace Tony DiBiase, who resigned in December.

“We’re hoping to fill that position in the next week to 10 days. We expect to interview for (baseball) next week,” O’Leary said.

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