SINCE Colby-Sawyer College’s baseball team was elevated from club to varsity status in 1995, the program has had one head coach: Jim Broughton.
Broughton won’t be there when Colby-Sawyer plays its next game, however. At least he won’t be there in uniform.
After nearly 27 years at Colby-Sawyer, Broughton announced his retirement. His last day on the job was Jan. 29.
He said multiple factors led to his decision.
“I think the biggest reason is I’ve missed a lot of my son’s high school and college career (Caleb Broughton is a senior on the Bucknell baseball team). He’s got this last spring left, and that weighed pretty heavily on me. I want to try to watch him play every game this year. With that being said, I don’t know if I can with all the COVID stuff, but I’m willing to take the chance. I’ve missed a lot. If I can’t watch him live, everything is live-streamed nowadays so I’ll find a place to sit there and watch him.”
Broughton said a change in his wife’s job will force the couple to move from their West Lebanon home this spring as well.
“I guessed I’m burned out, too,” he said. “Been doing this almost 27 years, and COVID did not help things.”
Broughton, 50, guided the Chargers to 346 victories. Colby-Sawyer has played in three conference championship games and won two conference titles (1998 and 1999). He was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference Coach of the Year twice, and the North Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year once.
Broughton played baseball at the University of Southern Maine and helped Southern Maine win the 1991 Division III World Series. He graduated from Southern Maine in 1992 and has been inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
Broughton was an assistant under Southern Maine coach Ed Flaherty for two seasons before he accepted the job at Colby-Sawyer.
“At first I looked at it as maybe a stepping stone to keep moving on in my career and maybe advancing to a higher level, but the more I was there the more I loved it, enjoyed it and loved the group of kids I always had,” Broughton said. “The school is a great place to work. I’ve been happy there my whole time. It got to the point where moving on was hard. I was comfortable where I was.
“Winning championships or making it to the championship game is always special, but I think what it really is is just working with the kids. Not just baseball-wise, but helping them grow up, mature. Help them become better young men and grown men. I think that’s what I enjoyed the most. A player would come into my office with a situation and I’d help the kid.
“It was a great place to work. I’ll miss it, but it was just time to move on.”
• The Rivier University baseball program will also enter the 2021 season with a new head coach. Anthony Perry announced his resignation last week to accept a non-baseball job at Fisher College in Boston. Perry had been Rivier’s coach since 2011.
Rivier promoted Louie Bernadini from assistant coach to replace Perry. Bernadini had been an assistant at Rivier since 2018. He was also the head coach at Daniel Webster for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
• Three of the UNH football program’s six Colonial Athletic Association games this spring are scheduled to be played in Durham, but it’s possible UNH could play a fourth home game.
UNH is scheduled to conclude the regular season at Maine on April 17, but Maine may be forced to play that game outside the state since an executive order by Maine Gov. Janet Mills limits outdoor gatherings to 100 people.
“This situation at Maine is not unlike other situations that we’ve dealt with in our full member conference even during the basketball season,” CAA commissioner Joe D’Antonio said during CAA football media day. “There are teams in our conference that have different parameters that need to be met in order for them to travel; in order for them to host home games, et cetera. By the time we get to the scenario of Maine having to play a home game, if that is not practically possible based on rules that have been implemented by the state of Maine, we’re gonna work with the folks at Maine to be able to hopefully pivot that game to a different location where it could be played. It could mean — none of us know this right now — unfortunately that if Maine wants to have a season, they’re gonna be left to play all road games.”
• The Trinity boys basketball team is off to a 3-1 start under second-year coach Keith Bike, who is attempting to raise expectations for the program.
“We’re trying to establish a winning tradition — to get back to those years when these guys were good,” Bike said following Trinity’s victory over Bedford on Friday night. “It’s a matter of establishing a culture and it starts in practice. I’ve been on these guys more this year than I was last year and so far they’re responding well. We’re trying to build that culture to get back to those Trinity teams that people were afraid to play.”
• The New Hampshire football community is mourning the loss of Jeff Kaplan, a longtime high school coach who died Friday from issues related to COVID-19.
Kaplan served as the head coach at Franklin High School (twice) and Newfound Regional. He also worked as an assistant coach at Laconia, Pembroke Academy, John Stark and Plymouth State. In addition, he formed and coached the wrestling program at Franklin.
Kaplan, who taught at Bishop Brady High School, also had two sons (Matt and Patrick) who played football at UNH.
• Boston College infielder Cody Morissette was named an NCAA Preseason All-American by Baseball America. Morissette, a three-sport athlete at Exeter High School (baseball, basketball and football), was selected to the Second Team as a shortstop. Baseball America’s three All-America teams were selected by those who work in MLB scouting departments based on talent, performance and professional potential.
• Super Bowl prop bets via DraftKings that will hopefully supplement a certain sportswriter’s weekly pay:
— Patrick Mahomes to rush for more than 19.5 yards (-115)
— First scoring play to be a Kansas City field goal (+430)
— Clyde Edwards-Helaire to have more rushing yards than Ronald Jones (+115)
— Final play of game to be a QB taking a knee/No (+159)
• A reminder that registration for 2021 New Hampshire Golf Association tourneys opened on Monday.