Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

River Ridge taps Kurt Goluba as next softball coach

Nominated for inspiration: Land O’Lakes cross country coach Kris Keppel, with wife Darlene, led online voting for the Brooks Coaches Inspirational Award. He and Lightning Bolt track coach Garlynn Boyd were among 25 national finalists; each received $5,000 in Brooks athletic gear and $500 for team expenses.

COLIN HACKLEY | Special to the Times

Nominated for inspiration: Land O’Lakes cross country coach Kris Keppel, with wife Darlene, led online voting for the Brooks Coaches Inspirational Award. He and Lightning Bolt track coach Garlynn Boyd were among 25 national finalists; each received $5,000 in Brooks athletic gear and $500 for team expenses.

Kurt Goluba, an assistant coach for the River Ridge softball team the past two seasons as well as the father of ace Makenzie Goluba, has been hired to replace longtime coach Ernie Beck, becoming the program's third coach.

Goluba, who has coached little league and travel ball teams in Pasco County, inherits the best softball program in the county from Beck, who begrudgingly retired at the end of last season after concluding his fifth year in the Deferred Retirement Option Program.

In 19 seasons, Beck won the district championship or finished runnerup 16 times. The Royal Knights won 20 or more games 12 times, and Beck's career record was 429-137.

"Absolutely there's a little bit of pressure,'' Goluba said. "The team making the regional final last two years in a row, that creates a little bit of added pressure but I'm confident we'll get there and go further this year. I don't want any dropoff in production."

Goluba inherits a team that returns almost everyone, include Tampa Bay Times player of the year Kenzi Maguire, first-teamer Madisyn Palmer and his daughter, who last season became the school's all-time leader in victories. Makenzie Goluba enters the 2014-15 season 56-8 with a 0.91 ERA.

"We lost some top players, like Morgan Tolle, but I still have a pretty good group returning,'' the new coach said.

Despite the program's success, River Ridge (26-4 last season) hasn't had enough players to field a junior varsity team the past two seasons. Kurt Goluba said he hopes to change that this season.

"We definitely want to keep this going,'' he said.

Two area nominees for inspiration honor edged

Mira Costa (Calif.) cross country coach Renee Williams-Smith won the Brooks Coaches Inspirational Award, beating out Land O'Lakes cross country coach Kris Keppel and Lightning Bolt track coach Garlynn Boyd, the two finalists from the bay area.

Williams-Smith won $10,000 in Brooks running gear and $2,500 for team expenses this upcoming season.

Keppel and Boyd were recognized as two of the 25 finalists. They each received $5,000 in Brooks athletic gear and $500 for team expenses for the upcoming season. Each finalist was invited to the awards ceremony in Seattle, where the winner was announced last week.

Keppel led online voting but other criteria went into selecting the overall winner.

"It was an honor just to be a finalist," Keppel said. "It was great trip, and I was able to visit extended family in Oakland during my time out West."

Gators' Pearson resigns

Land O'Lakes boys soccer coach Mark Pearson has resigned after 16 seasons.

Pearson led the Gators to three state final four appearances, including runnerup finishes in 1999 and 2012. Last season, the Gators were district runnerup, finishing 13-8-1 and falling to Citrus in the 3A region quarterfinal.

Pearson, 42, said he decided to step away to spend more time with his family. Since his father was his assistant coach, Pearson doesn't expect his replacement to come from within the program.

He is sure, though, that whoever takes over the program will enjoy the same things he did the past 16 years.

"(I'll miss) seeing players lift trophies after long seasons, when you put in the time and effort we put in," Pearson said. "It's always something that's great to see."

Staff writers Kelly Parsons and Bob Putnam contributed to this report.

More district previews

Lakewood is the frontrunner in all-Pinellas Class 5A-8. In three-team Class 5A-9 — yes, a three-team football district — it's pretty much Jesuit or bust. Catch up on both leagues at tampabay.com/hometeam.

River Ridge taps Kurt Goluba as next softball coach 08/12/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.