Scott Leip built the Ashland High boys' basketball program into a winner in a highly-successful nine-year run. Now, he's stepping away from his alma mater as head coach to spend more time with his young family.
"I love coaching, but not at the expense of my family," said the 36-year-old Leip, who also recently started working for a new company as an outside salesman in the medical industry. "This past season, I made it work, but it was becoming tougher and tougher."
This past season, Leip coached both the Ashland High varsity and his 9-year-old son Justin's MetroWest travel team. "My wife (Ann-Marie), son and daughter (4-year-old Courtney) deserve my time," he said.
A 1988 Ashland grad, Leip led the Clockers to seven tournament berths, three Tri-Valley League titles, three trips to the Division 3 South semifinals and a memorable march to the South final in 2004-05.
A star player for Smokey Moresi's Clocker teams of the late '80s, Leip went on to play collegiately at UMass-Dartmouth and then Babson.
He was hired as head coach at Ashland for the 1996-97 season, working under his mentor -- Moresi, the school's athletic director -- and immediately pumped life into a program that had won a combined four games the previous two years. Only his first team (7-13) and his last (8-12) failed to make the postseason and he compiled a 126-66 overall record. He took two seasons off (2000-01 and 2001-02) because of his fulltime job.
"The high school level is the last pure coaching job, because you can have a positive influence on the kids on and off the floor," said Leip, who would still like to help out the program as a volunteer assistant.
"I had so many quality kids. This year, we didn't make the tournament, but the kids still had fun, and they got along. That's what I'm most proud about."
Moresi said that the position has been posted and that would like to have it filled as soon as possible.
"We're very disappointed to lose Scotty, he did an outstanding job developing the program, bringing it to an elevated level not seen since the late '60s and early '70s," said Moresi, who is retiring at the end of the school year. "The [players] loved him and we loved him. But his kids are coming of age, and it's hard to do everything as an adult. He's making the right decision."
-- Craig Larson
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