After 10 years at Salem, Dan Bertone made the decision to resign as head softball coach over the weekend, just a week shy of the start of the spring sports season.
Bertone led the Witches to three postseason appearances during his tenure in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He’s seen a number of gifted players come through his program over the past decade including Salem News 2010 Player of the Year Sarah Chasse and Julia Jennings.
His love for the game is still very much prevalent, but for now he’s decided to move onto umpiring softball.
“I’ve been thinking about taking a different route with the game,” Bertone said last night. “I lost the passion that I once had for coaching. I still love the game, but I think I’m going to move to the umpiring side of things.”
As an umpire for Little League softball, Bertone has hopes of taking the next step to the high school level.
“I’ve started umping the last couple of years,” he noted. “I’ve noticed that a lot of former coaches end up as umpires.”
Bertone was able to let senior captains Hannah Wilkins and Joanna Coleman know of his decision and is hoping to get the entire team together to address his resignation.
“It was a late decision to step down,” added Bertone, who had multiple winning seasons at Salem. “I haven’t had a chance to speak with the girls yet due to my schedule, but they are aware of my decision. I’ve received a couple of texts here and there already.
“I will never step away from the game completely. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but all good things must come to an end.”
The Witches should continue evolve under Wilkins and Coleman, along with junior and two-year starter Desiree Martin. Martin was 34-for-36 on stolen base attempts and named team’s Offensive Player of the Year last season. They look for the team’s first tournament win since 2010 when Salem defeated East Boston in the opening round.
The season starts next Monday, which means athletic director Scott Connolly is looking for someone to head up the program. If interested in coaching the varsity softball team you can reach Connolly at 978-740-1113 or 7 Willson St., Salem, MA 01970.