PEABODY — After leading the Tanners to one of the most successful seasons in program history, Peabody’s Butch Melanaphy is out as head coach of the Peabody High softball.
“I had a meeting with athletic director Bob Bua on Thursday and he informed me that they wanted to go in a different direction,” said Melanaphy. “He said they were going to post the position and that I was welcome to re-apply if I wanted to, and that was it.”
Melanaphy indicated Friday he would not reapply.
This past spring, Melanaphy coached the Tanners to a 17-3 record. Peabody was the only Tanner team to win a spring Northeastern Conference title, and won its first tournament game in 10 years.
“I had a good run and this season was what I would say was a banner year, no doubt about it,” Melanaphy said. “My plan had been to stick around until the new turf field was in place, which I am told will be built starting this fall and open for play next spring. All things considered, however, due to circumstances beyond my control, it happened earlier than I wanted.”
Melanaphy spent 22 years coaching in Peabody, starting as coach of the freshman team. He moved through the ranks, coaching the JV team for two years, then served as an assistant varsity coach for seven years under three different head coaches before taking over as head coach in 2007.
“I’ve enjoyed my 22 years immensely and loved every minute of it,” Melanaphy said. “If I had my choice I would still be coaching at least until the new field opens, but I always say things happen for a reason. Maybe it might be time to enjoy my good health and hang around the house with my six grandchildren and wife, Frances. It might be that time to get back on the honey-to-do list and spend more time at my camp in Maine. Coaching softball is practically a year-round job with summer ball and fall ball, so I will definitely have more time on my hands to do some of the things I haven’t had time for in the past.”
Melanaphy grew up in Lynn, attending the old Lynn Trade High School before serving in the Air Force from 1962-1966. He worked at General Electric for three years then worked for the City of Lynn’s Water and Sewer Commission as an electrician. He’s no stranger to adversity.
“I was nearly electrocuted in 1987 in an accident at the main pumping station near Gannon Golf Course and spent 55 days in the hospital,” he said. “I’ve always said that those 4,000 volts must have cleaned out my system and maybe that’s why I’m healthy even now at the age of 73.”
Last week, Melanaphy was back in the dugout as coach of the Agganis Softball North All-Star team.
“Coaching the Agganis games is an honor and a great way to cap off a great season,” Melanaphy said. “When I was an assistant coach, we went to the Division 1 North final back in 2005 and 2006, so those were great years, but this season is by far the best. I’ve loved the girls and loved going to their other games in the off-season and I’ve loved being able to promote the program and have loved getting to know so many other coaches not only in the league, but at the high school as well. I will miss that tremendously. I guess, at my age it was time to go.”
When reached Friday, Peabody athletic director Bob Bua said he had no comment as he had yet to receive an official resignation from Melanaphy.