Ralph Franco, who coached Masuk’s baseball program for the last two decades, has retired and will be succeeded by Oxford coach and former Masuk standout Brian Hourigan, athletic director John DeGennaro announced Thursday.
Franco won 305 games at Masuk and coached the Panthers to five SWC championships and two state final appearances in 20 years as head coach.
Franco coached 45 players would go on to play in college during his tenure, including 12 to Division I schools and two Connecticut Gatorade State Players of the Year — Jeff Hourigan and Thomas Milone.
Franco coached two All-Americans and had four of his players drafted.
Masuk played in two state finals, in 2008 and 2014, but lost both times (to Westhill 11-1 and Notre Dame-West Haven 9-2, respectively).
He was the 2006 Fairfield County Coach of the Year after producing a team that went 24-3 and reached the Class LL semifinals. His final career record is 305-170. Masuk reached last year’s Class L semifinals, but lost to eventual champion Waterford, 16-5, in what turned out to be Franco’s final game.
Brian Hourigan, a former assistant under Franco and current physics teacher at Masuk, was an All-State player who led the Panthers to the 1998 Class LL championship game against Trumbull, a 6-3 loss.
Hourigan went on to play at the University of Massachusetts. He became head baseball coach at Oxford High School when the school opened in 2007. The Wolverines won the Class S baseball championship in 2013. He had been the school’s only head baseball coach.