Norwell's two-time state champion baseball coach Kelby Weybright is retiring after 11 seasons so he can spend more time at the ballpark.
In this case, it's his children's games he plans to see.
“I always knew there'd come a time when I needed to spend a little more time with my kids and my family,” Weybright said. “I think it really started to hit home when I was coming home on a bus from one of our varsity games, knowing my kids are at a Little League park somewhere playing a game and I'm not able to be in the stands to watch them.”
Weybright, 42, compiled a record of 242-93 (.722) and never had a losing season. He announced his retirement to players and parents during Norwell's season-ending banquet on Tuesday night at the school.
Weybright said he and his wife, Lisa, reached the decision during this season. The Weybrights have three children: Garrett, 12; Jacob, 10; and Maria, 9.
“Lisa and I have evaluated this every year, and this year it became too much. I was missing too much,” Weybright said. “They've grown up fast; it's been a fast 12 years for our oldest one. I really didn't want to look around 10 years from now and think I should have spent more time with them.”
Weybright will remain at Norwell as dean of students.
Weybright's teams won Class 3A state titles in 2003 and 2007 and lost a one-run game in the state championship game in 2006. They also lost a one-run game in the semistate in 2005.
His 2007 team finished 35-0, one of only three prep teams in state history to go undefeated. That team featured current Oakland A's pitcher Jarrod Parker, who threw six innings of shutout ball on the night Weybright retired.
The 2007 senior class had a two-year record of 64-2. There were a number of other strong players in the lineup, including Scott Woodward, Rhett Goodmiller, Kreigh Williams and Ryne Otis.
“It's an awesome group of seniors and an amazing group of friends," Parker said in 2007 after the state title win. "We have easily the best coach in the state. I'd play for that guy anywhere.”
Norwell finished 19-10 this season, reaching the sectional championship game before losing 4-3 to Bellmont.
Norwell was ranked No.1 in the state earlier this season, but had some ups and downs. Weybright said the on-field inconsistency this year had no bearing on his decision.
“We've had challenging years before,” he said. “I thought the way we came out and played with effort and desire, especially the last three games, was what we were hoping to get from those guys early on. I hope it carries over to football, basketball and baseball next year.”
Weybright didn't rule out coaching in some capacity again “down the road,” and says he has nothing but great memories for his 11 years with Norwell.
“We've been blessed to have some great players, but we've also been blessed to have some great people, from assistant coaches to parents and all their support,” he said. “It's just been a great opportunity to work with outstanding young men and see them grow. It's been pretty special.”