The coach who led the Naples High baseball team to a state championship has resigned, and neither the coach nor the school are commenting on the sudden move.
Rick Turner stepped down after nine seasons on Monday morning and did not meet with the team to break the news. Turner led the Golden Eagles to the Class 4A title in 2009.
“It’s a personal matter,” Turner said Tuesday afternoon. “I wish the school the best and the kids the best, but this is something I needed to do.”
Turner would not discuss reasons for his resignation. He said it was his choice and that he was not forced to quit. Turner would not comment when asked if it was a health issue and said he might coach again in the future.
Naples athletic director Ernie Modugno also would not provide details on the move. Modugno said it was a personnel decision and any more information must be provided by the Collier County Public Schools communications office.
District communications director Joe Landon said Tuesday afternoon that his office was working on a statement, but nothing had been released by late afternoon.
A 1976 graduate of Naples High, Turner led the team to its only baseball championship four years ago. The Golden Eagles became fourth Collier County team to win a state title, and also won a state academic title by having the highest cumulative grade-point average among Class 4A baseball teams.
Naples went 20-9 last season and advanced to the regional finals. This year the Eagles are 16-6.
The coaching change comes a week before Naples starts postseason play in the 6A-District 14 tournament Tuesday. Junior varsity coach Jeff Galati is the interim varsity coach for the rest of the season. Galati played for Turner and graduated in 2006.
The Eagles won their first game under Galati, a 4-2 victory over LaBelle, at home Monday.