Baseball – Marty Kenney Will Not Return as CBA Head Coach
Only two coaches in the history of New Jersey High School baseball have reached 800 career wins and until this past season, both were still in the dugout for their respective programs.
For the first time in nearly a half-century next season, Christian Brothers Academy will have a new head coach after announcing Tuesday that 800-game winner Marty Kenney will not be back in 2020.
CBA did not make clear in its release whether the decision was Kenney's to step down or the school's to decline rehiring him, although multiple sources close to Kenney have indicated it is the latter.
"I can’t really discuss details," CBA athletic director Vito Chiaravalloti said. "I get it every year when we have new openings. We have conversations with all the coaches at the end of the year and it's always been my position that I am not going to discuss what’s going on in those meetings.
"I think it's more important to talk about the amazing career that Coach Kenney had. I'm proud of coach and super thankful for what he is done for CBA. He coached me for four years and I'm grateful I got to be part of a historic run in CBA baseball. That’s what we’re celebrating."
Kenney did not return a request for comment from Shore Sports Network at the time of the most recent post.
"I would like to thank all of the coaches who have been part of our program during my 46 seasons," Kenney said via the press release. "Your dedication was second to none. I am humbled and grateful to all the athletes who played for me. Your sacrifices and commitment to our prestigious program has [sic] embedded memories that will never be taken away."
"I would hate for anything to overshadow what the man’s done," Chiaravalloti said. "Whatever the details (of his departure), his contributions are going to resonate much, much longer. He gave 46 great years to CBA as a coach and a teacher and established a CBA baseball tradition. Everything else is all secondary. Those details aren’t what anybody should be focusing on."
In his 46 years as head coach at CBA, Kenney produced a resume that goes just about unmatched by any coach in state history. His 832 career wins trail only Toms River South head coach Ken Frank, who finished 2019 with a record 894 wins and will eye No. 900 heading into his 42nd season as the Indians skipper.
Kenney has also led CBA to a record nine Monmouth County Tournament championships and seven Shore Conference Tournament championships. CBA has won a Shore Conference division title 18 times during Kenney's tenure and has won three overall NJSIAA Non-Public A championships in eight trips to the championship game.
CBA's last overall state title came in 2015, when the Colts finished No. 1 in N.J. and accomplished a feat only one other team in Shore Conference history had ever accomplished before. Kenney and CBA joined the 2004 Wall team and head coach Todd Schmitt as the only two Shore teams and head coaches to ever win the quadruple crown - division, county, conference and state titles in the same season.
Kenney won his 800th career game in April of 2018 when his team defeated Schmitt and Wall in walk-off fashion at Central Regional High School in the Strike Out Autism Challenge.
The 2019 season was also the final one for Schmitt, who announced his retirement last week.
The 2015 CBA squad featured star pitcher Luca Dalatri and catcher Brandon Martorano - two of 16 CBA players to be drafted by a Major League organization during Kenney's tenure. Former Colt Jimmy Yacabonis is currently on the Baltimore Orioles active 25-man Major League roster.
CBA also won an overall state title in 2009, which ended a 32-year wait after first winning the Non-Public A championship in 1977.
During the careers of Dalatri and Martorano, CBA won three consecutive Shore Conference Tournament championships and Monmouth County Tournament championships from 2014 to 2016.
In Kenney's final season this past spring, CBA went 18-7 and won its ninth Monmouth County Tournament championship by defeating Ocean in the championship game.
The Colts are slated to return a number of key pieces to the roster next season, led by the power-pitching duo of right-handers Pat Reilly and Braedin Hunt. Reilly is a Northeastern commit who earned Shore Sports Network First-Team All-Shore honors as a junior while Hunt recently re-opened his recruitment after initially verbally committing to Rutgers.
CBA is also set to return incoming senior catcher Mason Wolf, senior infielder Jason Arnott and senior center fielder Ben Settino.
According to the release, CBA will begin its search for a new head coach later this month and Chiaravalotti said he hopes to have a successor in place by the end of the summer but will not rush to meet that timetable.
"We are going to put together a search committee that will include alumni and some of our current coaches at CBA," Chiaravalotti said. "It's a process we have used in the past and it has been successful for us.
"Our committee understands the CBA community and our mission and we are going to hire a coach who understands that as well. If you look across all our sports, our coaches have long tenures here. That is something we are looking for."