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Rams coach Matranga steps down

The successful Gloucester Catholic softball coach will pursue a different teaching career.

Gloucester Catholic and the South Jersey softball community have lost a dynamic and highly successful coach, one who has come and gone in a flash.

Joe Matranga, who took hold of the Rams' reins in 2009, has stepped down as coach, the school announced Tuesday. No successor has been named.

"I had a great experience [at Gloucester Catholic]," Matranga said. "What I'm doing now will be to teach in a different capacity. I'm looking for different ways of teaching young people. I don't know exactly, maybe as a curriculum for schools.

"Being in business, I'm interested in giving back [to the community] from life lessons I've learned and to teach young people how to be successful in life."

On June 5, Matranga guided the Rams to the state Non-Public B championship with an 11-1 win over Immaculate Conception of Lodi. A year ago, he led the team to the South Jersey Non-Public A final, which it lost to Bishop Ahr, 2-1.

His two-year record was 43-16.

Matranga was part of Gloucester Catholic's 1974 state-championship baseball team, and he and his brother, Steve, a 1979 graduate of the school, started a national company that assembles and dismantles exhibits at conventions.

"I played second base, the same as my daughter," Joe Matranga said, referring to Christina Matranga, who just graduated from Gloucester Catholic.

Matranga denied that her graduating had anything to do with his decision to leave. He added that the state title didn't affect his decision, either, saying he had submitted his letter of resignation in early May.

"I was always looking how to reach younger people and do it on a broader scope," he said.

Pat Murphy, Gloucester Catholic's athletic director, said Matranga would be missed because of his love for the school and the passion he brought to the job.

"Joe was very successful, and this is a loss to the girls of our school," Murphy said.