Sam Plank will step down as Stone Bridge’s baseball coach following this season to take the same position at Riverside High, a Lansdowne-based school that will open its doors in the fall.
The upcoming move means Plank will again oversee the start-up of a new Loudoun County baseball program after becoming Stone Bridge’s first coach when the Ashburn school opened in 2000. At Riverside, however, Plank will serve as a health and physical education teacher in the building, a factor he cited in making “the hardest decision in my life.”
“It came down to me getting a chance to teach in the building, which is something I’ve wanted to do after teaching elementary school for 22 years,” said Plank, who currently teaches P.E. at Creighton’s Corner Elementary School. “Like I told my players, it’s got nothing to do with them. I’m leaving a great position at Stone Bridge because they’ll be great next season, too. I’m just ready to take on the next challenge of building another program.”
Following Wednesday’s win against Broad Run in the Virginia Conference 14 final, Plank has coached the Bulldogs to a record of 241-107-1, eight district/conference titles and 13 consecutive region tournament appearances. In 2014, Plank was named Virginia 5A North region coach of the year and led the Bulldogs to the state semifinal round, success that has extended to this season, during which Stone Bridge has compiled a record of 18-5.
“I’m grateful to be able to continue doing my passions of baseball and teaching,” Plank said. “Hopefully I’m a lot smarter now this time in starting up a program than I was before.”