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East Ridge softball: Nemo steps down as coach

Tom Nemo is stepping down as head coach of the East Ridge softball team after three years leading the program. (Bulletin photo by Patrick Johnson)

Tom Nemo is looking forward to enjoying the golden years.

After 25 years of coaching softball, including the last three at East Ridge High School, Nemo is stepping down as the head coach of the Raptors.

Nemo, 59, said he just purchased a new home in Florida and is hoping to spend more time there along with seeing his grandchildren more often. Nemo and his wife have been traveling to Florida since 1985.

"It's just time," Nemo said. "You know it's time to step away when that flame starts to flicker a little bit."

East Ridge is coming off its best season in the school's four-year history. The Raptors, which finished 13-10 overall, reached their first-ever section championship last spring beating highly ranked North St. Paul twice in the playoffs, before falling to Stillwater in the title game.

"We had a nice run," Nemo said. "We got hot at the end of the season. It was fun."

Nemo took over as East Ridge head coach in 2011 for Jeff Glackler, who led East Ridge to a 12-12 inaugural season before resigning as Raptors coach after being let go from his teaching position at Park High School. Before taking the job at East Ridge, Nemo helped North St. Paul to the 2007 state championship title as well as back-to-back state runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010 as an assistant coach and compiled a 107-54 record as the head coach at Tartan. Nemo was 36-32 at East Ridge.

East Ridge has not hired a new coach, however, Nemo said he's personally lobbying for one of his assistant coaches - Park High School graduate Afton Murray - to take over for him as head coach.

Whoever the next coach is, Nemo believes the Raptors will continue to be a contender. Next season, East Ridge returns all but one player, 2013 graduate Brooke Harrington, from this past year's squad.

"I'd be surprised if East Ridge isn't competing for a section title this year," Nemo said. "They're going to be really good. We were young. They certainly have the personnel. I'll be their biggest fan."

Nemo last coached in the Minnesota-Wisconsin Softball All-Star Border Battle in July, but hasn't led a summer team like he usually would. This summer, Nemo has been dealing with the death of his mother and spending time with his family.

"It's a good situation when you're able to leave on your own terms," Nemo said. "I feel a little bad I didn't get East Ridge to the state tournament, but I'm leaving on a good note."

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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