NITRO — Longtime Nitro High School baseball coach Steve Pritchard resigned last week, capping an overall career that included three state championships and four runner-up finishes.
“23 years of doing it 12 months out of the year – sometimes we’re victims of our own monsters that we create,” Pritchard said. “More than anything, I’m just tired and it’s time to move on to the next phase of my life. I think it’s time for a change in our program. We’re getting ready to lose a lot of seniors and we need someone to come in who is a little younger and would maybe spend more time with the young kids than I would to keep the program going.”
Pritchard, a Chapmanville native and a graduate of the old Chapmanville High School, spent the majority of his coaching career at the helm with Nitro and had a previous tenure as the head coach at Sissonville. His combined overall record stands at 514-223-2, with those titles coming in 1996 (Sissonville), 2008 and 2010 (Nitro). The four runner-up finishes were 1995 (Sissonville), 2009, 2012 and 2015 (Nitro).
“I think we did a good job,” Pritchard said. “Just about any game here at Nitro, we had ex-players in the crowd rooting for us and feeling like they were still a part of it. Having those guys come back, visit, watch our games and follow us tells me that we did a good job.”
The decision to eventually step down was something that Pritchard had come to terms with during this past season. He will still stay on as Nitro’s athletic director moving forward.
“I knew during (this past season),” he said. “Some coaches around the state when we would play them, I would talk with them and ask if they would be interested in taking the job next year. I pretty much knew that was going to be it.”