Coach Richie Warren stepped down as Jesuit High’s head coach Tuesday, six days after leading the Tigers to the Class 5A state baseball title.
Immediately after Jesuit made the announcement, Berkeley Prep announced it had hired Warren as its head coach to replace Justin Houston, who is taking an administrative position at the school.
Warren, a 2000 Jesuit graduate, won at least 20 games each of his eight seasons as coach, compiling a 206-39 record. The Tigers advanced to the state final four the past five seasons, finishing twice as runner-up (2010, 2011) before beating Green Cove Springs Clay last week for the program’s fourth state title.
An off-field incident led to nine Jesuit varsity players being dismissed from the team in late March, and the team called up seven junior varsity players to make its run to a state title. The discipline came after Jesuit went on a spring break road trip to play a team in Pensacola before traveling to New Orleans.
At the time, the school gave no reason for the dismissals other than citing a violation of “team rules.”
Jesuit athletic director Terry Rupp released a statement Tuesday morning after Warren met with his players. “Jesuit is extremely grateful to Coach Warren for all that he has done for the Jesuit baseball program, and for the school as a whole,’’ Rupp said. “Richie has done a tremendous job of building on the great legacy of Jesuit baseball.”
Berkeley Prep then released a statement announcing that it had hired Warren to take over the Buccaneers immediately. Warren will also join the Berkeley Prep staff as a middle school physical education teacher.
“I’m excited to be able to go to such a great independent school like Berkeley Prep,” Warren said. “It’s a new chapter in my life, but one I’m excited about.”
Jesuit won its first state baseball title since 2000, when Warren earned a state semifinal win as a pitcher.
“The past 10 years, eight of which I’ve been the head coach at Jesuit, have been a blessing. Getting to coach at my alma mater was great, but I’m truly excited about the chance to move on to a new challenge, one which my family and myself are thrilled to have.”
Berkeley Prep went 17-14 this season, reaching the Class 4A region final after winning the District 10 championship. The Tampa Tribune previously reported that Houston was stepping down as Berkeley’s coach after this season to take a position in the school’s guidance office.
“I am ecstatic to welcome Richie, Alyson (wife), Mason, and Jackson (Warren’s two sons) to the Berkeley community,” Buccaneers athletic director Bobby Reinhardt said in the school’s news release. “Richie is a family man who embodies the Berkeley ideals of excellence and integrity on and off the field. I cannot imagine a more perfect partnership.”
Berkeley Prep loses four seniors from its district championship team, including Brown University commit Dante Bosnic, but the Bucs return top hitters Anthony Pelligrino and Nicholas Kavouklis, who will be seniors in 2015.