Ralph Aceto is back as South Portland High’s softball coach.

Aceto, who led the Riots to the 2010 Class A state championship, was named the South Portland coach, pending approval from the school board and superintendent. He had previously coached the Riots from 2009-2014, compiling a 96-17 record and two regional championships, the other coming in 2012. He resigned after the 2014 season for personal reasons, but still kept close tabs on the program.

“There’s no question that his success in his previous tenure proved that he has what it takes to oversee a program and be successful,” said South Portland Athletic Director Todd Livingston. “And certainly, on my end, having the opportunity to bring someone of that caliber back is exciting and a great thing for the program.

“Ralph has high expectations and demands a lot from the girls. But he has a great balance of developing relationships with them, which is very important.”

Aceto replaces Alexis Garrison, who replaced him the last two years. The Riots were 8-10 last year, losing in the quarterfinals.

“I’ve still got the itch,” said Aceto. “When I saw the South Portland job came open, I was certainly interested. I had thought about the Yarmouth job and was going to apply there when South Portland came open. Where else would I want to be?

“I know I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’ve had my work cut out for me before.”

Aceto spent the last two years coaching many of the current South Portland players in Junior Softball. His niece, Ashely Aceto, is a sophomore catcher for the Riots.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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