After nearly 30 seasons as the Ipswich High softball coach, Doug Woodworth has decided to retire.
After coaching his final game against North Reading on May 27, Woodworth called it quits for the time being, but says he won’t close the door on coaching in the future.
”I’m not sure what’s ahead. I’ll still work somewhere, but I have no idea doing what,” said Woodworth, who is also retiring from teaching. “We’ll see what comes my way.
“I can’t say I’ll never coach again, but for now my softball coaching is over. Time for a little break.”
He coached his 500th career softball game earlier this year as the Tigers wrapped up their season at 4-14.
Along with coaching softball, Woodworth also coached golf, girls soccer and boys basketball at Ipswich High, leading his Tigers to a state championship back in 2005.
Woodworth helped his teams to six Cape Ann League titles and finished with a career record of 264-246 in softball. Combined with his other three sports he coached, Woodworth has been involved in nearly 1,000 games in his career, going a combined 468-456.
“I remember my first softball game, I was the junior varsity coach and the first game of the year the varsity coach got thrown out of the game over in Lynnfield,” explained Woodworth. “I had to go over to coach the varsity for the rest of the game while the coach sat on the bus. I wish I could say we won the game, but I don’t really remember.”
Woodworth also recalls coaching against Bishop Fenwick’s legendary Buddy Henry in the 1980s during a North semifinal game. “Of course we lost, but it was a good game,” Woodworth joked. “I had the honor of having Buddy on my coaching staff his last couple of years. I kind of gave him the reigns of the team. I figured ‘Who was I compared to this Hall of Fame coach?’ I learned so much from him, and every one of our players loved playing for him on our staff.”