A mixed bag of personal and political issues has led Timberline coach Ken Carey to resign after three seasons at the helm of the Blazers' fastpitch team.
"I think it boiled down to lack of passion," Carey said Tuesday. "At the end of the season, there was a meeting with some of the girls and some of them voiced some dissatisfaction about not wanting to play next year. I don't want to take the passion away from them."
Carey, who spent seven overall seasons in the program, led the Blazers this past spring to a share of the Western Cascade Conference title at 12-1 and advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 1993.
The Blazers finished their season at 19-7, losing to Auburn-Riverside in eight innings at the state tournament.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Olympian
"It was a very emotional season to see how well they did," he said. "We knew from the get-go they had something special. It's a steady program that's only going to get better."
With a daughter who will be a senior at Timberline in the fall, Carey also plans to spend more time with his family.
"Obviously, with anybody that's given their time and energy, you always appreciate that," Timberline athletic director Paul Dean said. "As a former coach, I understand the amount of effort that goes into it. We are looking to build on what he's done."
Carey plans to coach again in the future but noted his full-time job outside of coaching got in the way of being able to be there before the Blazers' scheduled practice times. He also plans to attend games.
"I would love to coach these girls until I couldn't coach again," Carey said. "Under the circumstances, I just need to step back and focus on personal things. I wish the girls the best for next year."
Olympian sports reporter Gail Wood contributed to this story.