Golf: New Albany girls coach Rich Ritter to also lead Eagles boys team

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
New Albany coach Rich Ritter chats with Kary Hollenbaugh during the Division I girls state tournament in 2019. Ritter now will guide the Eagles' boys and girls golf teams.

Fully aware that leading both the boys and girls golf teams at New Albany will be a challenge, Rich Ritter hopes the boys can match the run of success the girls currently are enjoying.

Ritter, who has coached the girls team to Division I state championships each of the past three seasons, was named boys coach Feb. 19.

“I had some discussions with Richie Wildenhaus, our athletics director, and it seemed like it would be a good fit to take on leadership of both programs at this time,” said Ritter, who has led the girls team since 2017. “I had the opportunity to talk to a couple other coaches around the state who lead both teams and how they handle that and what the challenges are. It will be a challenge, no question, but I’m excited about that and an opportunity to impact all the golf athletes at New Albany.”

Ritter succeeds Ryan Hosack, who resigned after two seasons to take a job in the Denver area.

Ritter’s sons, Alexander, Ethan and Huston, will be freshmen at New Albany this fall.

“The opportunity to coach them will be fun, but where they might end up within the squads is hard to say,” coach Ritter said, adding that he and Hosack had plans for combined boys and girls offseason activities last year before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic hit. “I’ve been helping build some of the scheduling already and trying to find some opportunities where they won’t compete on the same day. It will happen in the postseason for sure. That’s something where the coaching staff will have to work together. Part of my role will be to help each of them be the best they can be in their functions, too, and have them take the team onto the course without me.”

The girls team is projected to return four of its top five from last season in juniors Kary Hollenbaugh and Anna Ritter, sophomore Anna Coccia and freshman Emerson Purcell. Juniors Gibson Dain and Jackson Fry and sophomore Andrew Ferinni are eligible to return for the boys.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekDave