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Pasco baseball coach Giles resigns (updated 10:04 p.m.)

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Fri. March 30, 2012 | Matt Baker | Email

Pasco baseball coach Giles resigns (updated 10:04 p.m.)

HUDSON — Pasco baseball coach Ricky Giles resigned Friday after leading the Pirates for 17 years but becoming the focus of a recent investigation over inappropriate conversations.

Pasco principal Patrick Reedy announced that Giles resigned for “personal reasons” in a fax to the Times late Friday afternoon. Athletic director Tom McHugh confirmed that Giles stepped down but deferred other questions to the school’s press release:

“Pasco High School and coach Ricky Giles announce that after successfully serving as the Pirates head baseball coach for the past 17 years, Coach Giles has resigned his head coaching position for personal reasons.”

Giles, a longtime assistant football coach, was indefinitely suspended from coaching duties this month pending an investigation that he had “inappropriate verbal conversations” with players. He was still employed at the school in student discipline at the time of the investigation.

Giles, a Zephyrhills graduate who took the Pirates to the 1997 Class 4A state title game, has been employed by the district since 1976. He could not be reached for comment, and Reedy did not return a phone message.

Hours after Giles’ resignation became public, his former team took the field at Hudson and earned a 10-0, six-inning victory over the Cobras.

Interim coach Joe Neale declined to comment about Giles’ resignation after the game. But he said the Pirates have handled the uncertainty well and are beginning to come together as a team.

“At this point they’ve kind of accepted the fact that we’re taking it day by day. …” said Neale, a nine-year Pirates assistant who has served as the team’s interim coach for the past seven games.

“They’re taking it in stride. It’s rough, no matter how you look at it.”

Pasco parent Lori Dious said players’ families are split over the incident. She said Giles was sometimes hard to her children on the field, but they realized that he cared about them and wanted them to improve.

“The minute they’re off that field, he’ll do anything for him,” Dious said. “It’s just a shame that it’s gotten to that.”

Giles is the father of Zephyrhills head football coach Reggie Roberts. Another son, Trey Dudley-Giles, was the Times’ North Suncoast football player of the year last fall and has signed with UMass to play football.

Matt Baker can be reached at mbaker@tampabay.com.

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