buena baseball

George West wants to watch his young sons play sports.

Ben Fogletto

George West is ready for the next phase of his professional life.

West, 35, resigned as a Buena Regional High School baseball coach and teacher to become a vice principal at Egg Harbor Township High School.

Buena was a perennial power under West. This season the Chiefs (25-8) won the South Jersey Group II title and reached the state Group II final, losing to Mahwah 11-4 in June. West was The Press Coach of the Year.

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“I felt it was time,” he said. “A lot of my decision was family-driven. I have two young boys, and I don’t want to miss their activities. I will miss those (Buena) kids, but I’m ready for the second chapter of my life.”

Buena Regional isn’t the only high-profile Cape-Atlantic League baseball program seeking a new coach. Sacred Heart athletic director Joe Blandino said Thursday the school has decided not to rehire coach John Triantos.

West excelled not only as a coach but also as a player for Buena. A 1994 graduate, he also starred for Monmouth University.

West coached Buena for 10 years. The Chiefs won three division titles, three conference titles and two South Jersey titles during his tenure. Buena also won the 2011 Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, a prestigious event that features 16 of the region’s top teams. Only two other CAL teams — Millville (1974) and Sacred Heart (2008) — have won the Classic in the tournament’s 39-year history.

Buena returns five position players who started in this year’s state title game.

“It was a great run,” West said. “I’m so thankful they gave me an opportunity to teach there and coach there. I’m going to miss being out there with those kids from a competitive standpoint.”

The Egg Harbor Township Board of Education confirmed West as vice principal Tuesday night.

“I’m excited about my opportunity at Egg Harbor Township,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started and use the same energy I had on the baseball field in the hallways of EHT.”

West said he also wanted to stop coaching because his sons, Gavin, 7, and Trevor, 2, are beginning to play sports.

“I’m becoming a soccer, hockey and Little League guru,” West said with a laugh.

* * *

Triantos has been one of the most successful but also controversial baseball coaches in the CAL.

The Lions became a perennial CAL and South Jersey Non-Public B contender under Triantos, who took over the program in 2006. He was The Press Coach of the Year in his first season. The Lions finished 17-9 and lost to Marist 2-1 in the South Jersey Non-Public B final this spring. Sacred Heart won the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic in 2008.

But the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association suspended Triantos for the first five games of the 2011 season for holding improper off-season workouts.

Sacred Heart nearly closed after this school year because of financial troubles. The school named Blandino athletic director earlier this month.

“We just felt it was in the best interest of Sacred Heart to go in a different direction,” Blandino said.

Triantos could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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