BYFIELD — Ryan McCarthy had nearly given up hope in his pursuit of a head coaching job when he learned that his former boss, Triton baseball coach Rich Dube, resigned from his position this fall.
McCarthy served as a varsity assistant under Dube last spring after spending 11 years coaching the freshman program at Newburyport. He figured, if ever he was qualified for a position, it would be the Triton post.
McCarthy, a 1998 graduate of Newburyport High, interviewed and earned the position, accepting an offer this week to be the next Triton head baseball coach.
“I had been through this in a lot of other places, and I was discouraged,” McCarthy said. “I talked to my wife, and she encouraged me to try one more time and see how it goes. I’m just happy somebody gave me an opportunity to do this.”
McCarthy has a wealth of coaching experience. He has coached the Northeast region’s baseball team at the Bay State Games for the last 10 years, leading his teams to gold medals three times. In addition to his 12 years coaching high school baseball — first under Newburyport’s Bill Pettingell and last year under Dube — McCarthy has also coached Little League and Babe Ruth. In the fall, he serves as the Newburyport football team’s offensive coordinator.
He applied to several head coaching positions in the past, including Newburyport’s baseball job after Pettingell’s departure, but did not receive an offer. Most programs require coaches to earn a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite. McCarthy does not meet that requirement.
“I think he has enough experience,” Triton athletic director Donna Andersen said. “I think he’s earned his shot at a head coaching position. He’s been a loyal assistant through the years with Newburyport and last year with Triton. He knows the game, he’s very involved. He’s had high-level players at the Bay State Games, and he’s managed them well. I think he’s ready.”
McCarthy left the Newburyport baseball program last spring to join Dube’s staff. The two coaches were familiar with each other through various baseball endeavors. McCarthy coached Dube’s son, Joe, in the Newburyport program in 2004.
“I enjoyed working with Ryan,” Dube said. “He gets it. He obviously has a lot of baseball experience. More importantly, he’s good with kids. He knows how to interact. He knows what’s important and what’s not important. I’m excited to see how he does. It’s a good hire.”
Dube will coach tennis this spring after two years as the Triton baseball coach.
Triton struggled last spring, although many of last year’s starters will return this spring, including Dmitri Hunt, who played for McCarthy in last year’s Bay State Games.
“Last year, they had a big senior class,” McCarthy said. “The kids went south a little bit. We had a lot of back-and-forth games. It was a little roller coaster, but we brought some kids up. They got experience. They’ll all be back, so I’m excited for the opportunity, and ready to get going.”