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Jordan back as Marple Newtown baseball coach

The Delaware County baseball-coaching carousel has spun again, shifting a vacancy from Marple Newtown to Radnor.

Marple has hired Mark Jordan, the former Radnor head baseball coach, to the same position at the school, athletic director Chris Gicking confirmed Monday. Before his stint at Radnor, Jordan had spent four seasons at the helm of the Tigers.

“I’m going back home,” Jordan said via text message Monday. “I had five years of great memories with the Radnor boys. It’s time for new challenges and new memories.”

Jordan replaces Steve Smith, who once replaced him at the helm of Marple and earlier this month took the head coaching job at Penncrest.

Smith’s contract was not renewed by Marple in August despite the manager taking the Tigers to the semifinals of the PIAA Class 4A tournament in the spring. The stated reason from the athletic department was to attempt to take the program to the next level. But sources behind the scenes detailed friction between factions of the Marple parent base and Smith, an alumnus of the school who ran the program for six seasons.

Jordan’s coaching bona fides are well established. He’s spent the last five seasons at Radnor, leading a Raiders program with virtually no history of success in the sport to playoff wins in four consecutive seasons, an active streak unmatched in Delco for the better part of the last decade. Last season, Jordan piloted the Raiders to the District 1 Class AAA championship and the quarterfinals of the PIAA tournament.

Jordan led Marple Newtown to the PIAA final in 2007, his first year in charge. But he was let go in October 2010 when the school board, which had the final say in dismissing Smith this August, unanimously chose to replace Jordan with Smith.

Upon his move to Radnor, Jordan took Gicking on as an assistant coach before Gicking was hired in the summer of the 2015 to be Marple’s athletic director and head football coach.

Jordan will continue to coach girls basketball at Radnor.

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