By Phil Anastasia
Jim Ambrosius has retired from teaching and coaching at Williamstown High School, leaving openings at two of the major sports programs at the large Gloucester County school.
Ambrosius was Williamstown's baseball coach for the last nine seasons and boys' basketball coach for the last three seasons.
Ambrosius said he plans to pursue a career in private baseball instruction, with an emphasis on teaching and video analysis.
"It's something I've been wrestling with but something that I want to pursue," Ambrosius said Tuesday.
Under Ambrosius, Williamstown baseball developed into one of the more respected programs in South Jersey. The Braves played a demanding schedule and won five Tri-County Royal titles and earned five berths in the prestigious Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic and three berths in the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals in the last seven seasons.
"I believe we turned that into a program that every year you had to take a look at," Ambrosius said of the baseball program. "The kids understood.They knew if we played an easy schedule we could have won 20 games every year but they wanted to play that schedule and earn that respect."
Ambrosius replaced his good friend Bill Hunt as Williamstown's basketball coach in 2011. The Braves were 52-30 in Ambrosius' three seasons and won one Tri-Co Royal crown.
"I'm extremely close with Bill Hunt and I wanted to keep the program moving forward," Ambrosius said. "I think we did that."
Ambrosius, who was a history teacher, said he labored with his decision, especially from "a financial security aspect." He was a teacher for 16 years, eight at Kingsway (where he also was the baseball coach for four years) and eight at Williamstown.
But he felt the time was right to strike out on his own. He said he would be open to the possibility of joining a college program as an assistant coach in the future.
In addition, Ambrosius believes his decision will enable him to spend more time with his family, which includes two sons and a daughter, ages 10, 8 and 5.
"That's a big part of this," Ambrosius said of the opportunity to spend more time with his children.
Ambrosius, a Collingswood graduate who played at East Carolina, believes his combination of private instruction and video analysis will be attractive to youngsters looking to develop their baseball skills.
Anyone interested in more information can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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