Barone Steps Down After 28 Years

Times Staff Writer

The wear and tear of 28 years in the coaching business has taken its toll on Ken Barone, who announced his resignation Wednesday as the Newbury Park High boys' basketball coach.

Barone, 49, served two stints at Newbury Park covering 11 seasons, including the past four. He compiled a 141-111 record with the Panthers and his teams won Marmonte League titles in 1978 and 1981 and twice reached the semifinal round of the Southern Section playoffs. Newbury Park was 13-11 this season and lost in the first round of the 4-A Division playoffs.

"I still love basketball and that has not diminished," he said. "But the positives no longer outweigh the negatives, so the time seemed right for me to leave.

"The things that have weighed on me are keeping players eligible, fund-raising, parental concern and sometimes interference, and lack of support from our district administration. All of that has taken its toll on my enthusiasm."

Barone also cited the dwindling enrollment at Newbury Park, which has become the smallest Marmonte League school. In Barone's first seven seasons at Newbury Park from 1974 to '81, the Panthers were 110-52 and won two league titles. In the past four seasons, Newbury Park is 31-59.

"That has weakened our athletic base here and that was a factor," he said of the declining enrollment.

The Panthers began this season with nine wins in 11 games but placed sixth in league play with a 4-8 record and lost nine of their last 13 games.

"We did make the playoffs but we were disappointed because we hoped to do even better," he said. "Our finish pales in comparison to our start and no one feels worse about it than myself. But I think the future looks bright. We made the playoffs with two sophomores and a junior in the starting lineup."

No replacement has been named, but Barone has recommended Richard Endres, a Newbury Park assistant for the past seven seasons.

Barone, who will stay at Newbury Park as a history teacher, broke into coaching at St. Mary's High in Phoenix, where he coached four years before moving to Rio Mesa for nine years, seven as head coach. After seven years at Newbury Park, he coached at Ventura College for four seasons before returing to Newbury Park.

His high school career record is 264-201.

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