Fabbri resigns as Ridgefield High baseball coach

Paul Fabbri has resigned as head coach of the Ridgefield High baseball team.
Paul Fabbri has resigned as head coach of the Ridgefield High baseball team.

After being suspended for the second time this season, longtime Ridgefield High baseball head coach Paul Fabbri has decided to step down from his position but remain a teacher at the school.

In an email sent to players and parents at 9:47 last night, Ridgefield High Principal Dr. Stacey Gross wrote that Fabbri "has resigned from the position of RHS Head Baseball Coach, effective immediately."

The email goes on to say that the resignation "does not have any bearing on his role as a teacher in the district and he will be returning to the classroom tomorrow."

"While Mr. Fabbri is returning to the building and students may be interacting with him, our expectation and directive is that he will not be speaking to students or parents about the aforementioned investigation or baseball specifics," wrote Dr. Gross.

Mike Scarlett, the junior varsity coach, will serve as interim head coach for the varsity team for the remainder of the season, according to Dr. Gross's email.

Assistant coach Tom Neville, who was suspended along with Fabbri, "remains on administrative leave at this time," according to the email.

Ridgefield finished the regular season with a 12-8 record after beating Westhill on Thursday afternoon. The Tigers did not qualify for the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference playoffs but have qualified for the Class LL state tournament.

Fabbri and Neville were placed on administrative leave May 8 following Ridgefield's loss to New Canaan.  The two coaches were not with the team the next day for a game against Norwalk.

Administrators did not cite reasons for the suspensions, although several parents said it stemmed from comments Fabbri and Neville made to players.

Neither Fabbri nor Ridgefield High Athletic Director Dane Street have returned emails and/or phone calls from Hearst Connecticut Media seeking further information.

Earlier this season, Fabbri, Neville and Len Merullo (another assistant coach) were placed on administrative leave pending a police investigation into a fire at Governor Park, the Ridgefield High team's home field. Fabbri and his assistants were cleared of any wrongdoing and returned five days later.

The fire — set by a group of people in a misguided attempt to dry parts of the infield before a game April 6 — caused an estimated $40,000 in damages. No arrests were made, and anonymous donations are expected to cover the town's expenses.