For John Ehret baseball coach Kenny Francingues, it was time.
After 15 years in the Jefferson Parish Public School System, Francingues has announced his retirement as a teacher and baseball coach at John Ehret due largely to family considerations.
A former Rummel and Tulane pitching standout, Francingues directed Ehret’s program for seven seasons and piloted the Patriots to a District 8-5A championship and Class 5A state playoff appearance in 2016 after an eight-year run as basketball and baseball coach at Meisler Junior High.
Ehret’s final team under Francingues finished 12-16 overall, but 9-1 and in second place in District 8-5A, one win shy of a state playoff berth.
“Sometimes it’s just time to move on,’’ said Francingues, the District 8-5A coach of the year in 2016. “I feel like you can get complacent after being at a place for several years. I loved my baseball players. We had great kids that worked hard. I faced some great coaches that I competed against and respect. It was always fun just going to play.
“I also taught some great kids in the classroom. I’ve had some young men and young ladies that are as good as anybody I’ve ever taught. And I’m going to miss them all. So there are a lot of things that I’m going to miss in leaving.’’
Francingues, 60, does plan to continue his 39-year career as a math teacher. He also has not closed the door on coaching again.
“I’m hoping to catch on with some school that may need a math teacher,’’ Francingues said. “Coaching is an open door. If somebody would like me to help with their pitching or go coach an eighth-grade team, that would be fine.
“I possibly could coach a varsity team again somewhere down the road. I never want to say never. We’ll just play it by ear right now. I’m just looking to be hired and continue to teach in the class room.’’
Francingues will be missed, said Ehret athletic director Sheena Smith, who added that the Marrero school likely would not address finding a replacement for Francingues until the summer or beginning of the 2019-20 school year.
“I am really sad, but I understand his reasons for leaving and I’m so happy for him and his family,’’ Smith said. “He really had an effect on a lot of kids. I know he had a positive effect as a young athletic director. He was always a good person to bounce ideas off. He was just a really good mentor. We’re going to miss him a lot.’’
Francingues was a highly successful coach at Pope John Paul II for three years before moving to Texas to direct baseball programs at Dallas-Jesuit for five years and Dallas-Bishop Lynch for four years.
Bishop Lynch won a Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) state championship in 2002 under Francingues.
As a player, Francingues was a two-time all-state pitcher at Rummel as a junior and senior in addition to serving as a starting pitcher on the Raiders’ undefeated 1974 state champions.
Francingues continued to excel at Tulane where he pitched three seasons and earned All-Metro Conference honors as a junior with a 13-2 record. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Metro Conference tournament.
Francingues left Tulane after his junior year after being selected in the 15th round of the 1979 Major League Baseball draft by the Minnesota Twins. He played 2½ seasons of minor league baseball in the Twins organization and was Midwest League all-star for Wisconsin Rapids one season.
“I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life,’’ Francingues said. “I’m going to miss my great kids. I’m going to miss the great teachers. Going to Ehret made me a better teacher working with those professionals and people who really care about our kids. It’s just time to move on, and I’m ready to move forward.’’