It’s always good to go out on top and John Bores certainly did.
The longtime Southington softball coach stepped down from his post before the start of the school year.
“It was very difficult. But I’m going to be 63 in October,” Bores said Wednesday, Sept. 11. “My wife Lynn retired and we sold our house and are moving to (Boca Raton) Florida. We decided to move and we moved.”
The Blue Knights won Bores’ last game 1-0 win over Mercy in the Class LL state championship game at West Haven’s Frank Biondi Softball Field in June.
Bores gave it a few weeks after he secured his second state title, but by mid-July, he knew it was time.
“Before the (championship) game I had tears in my eyes that this might be the last game I will ever coach,” Bores said. “I didn’t want to make that decision beforehand. I told the team a week and a half ago via text and email that I was stepping down.”
The team was sad to see Bores go but happy for their championship coach.
“I was really surprised but I was really happy at the same time,” former Blue Knight pitcher Jordyn Moquin said. “I was happy he was able to go out with a win. I know he wanted to leave the program in a great position.”
Moquin graduated from Southington in 2013 and was the winning pitcher in the Blue Knights’ championship win over Mercy.
Moquin had a big hand in delivering Southington its 15th state title and the second under Bores. She finished with a 24-1 record, 0.47 ERA. Moquin is just starting at Mercy College where she will play softball.
“He is a very good coach,” Moquin said. “He cares about us, but he knows when business is business.”
Under Bores, Southington won 11 CCC divisional titles and appeared in five state title games. He finished his varsity coaching career with an overall record of 256-27 from 2002 to 2013.
“They meant a lot to me,” Bores said of his players. “They are like daughters. I loved every moment of it. And I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss basketball as well. But I really loved softball and when March rolls around it’s going to be tough. But when I’m at the golf course and the beach and you guys are freezing, maybe I will get over it quickly.”
He coached softball at DePaolo Middle School from 1978 to 1994 before becoming an assistant at Southington High School until he became head coach in 2002.
Bores has been an assistant girls basketball coach at Southington High for 17 years and made an impact on his players and fellow coaches.
“You don’t hang around and coach in the business unless you know how to deal with kids and put a lot of effort in what you do,” former Southington girls basketball coach Jim DiNello said. “‘Whenever a coach like John steps down, coaches feel that we are losing one of the best. He was fair and gave every ounce of energy he had both on and off the field. He really cares about the kids he coaches. He is a terrific coach and a terrific person.”
Current SHS girls coach Mike Forgione said Bores kept things light at difficult times.
“John is a loyal friend that was always there for the kids and wanted to see our program do well,” Forgione said. “Our games are so competitive and he was there to be the calming effect and be the coach that made the mood a little lighter during our difficult conference schedule.”
Bores taught English in Southington for 39 years before retiring in 2011.
Bores and his wife Lynn have three sons who were all standout athletes at Plainville High School. Jeff, who lives in Plainville, and Kevin, who resides in Lewiston, Maine and their eldest son Scott lives in Jupiter, Fla. with his wife Audrey and twin grandsons, Tyler and Taylor.
“It’s going to be nice watching them grow up,” Bores said.
Southington athletic director Eric Swallow said Bores leaves behind a strong legacy at Southington.
“He was a proven winner,” Swallow said. “He was a consummate professional. He was a well-liked teacher and well respected across the state as a softball coach. He was a true professional and was one of the coaches that everyone looked up to.”