After two decades leading the Clinton River Kings on the baseball diamond, Trent Snowden is stepping away from the field.
Clinton athletic director Gary Lueders announced Wednesday that Snowden had turned in his resignation after winning more than 300 games in 20 seasons.
“It’s a good time for me,” Snowden said. “I feel like over the last 20 years I poured my heart and soul into the Clinton program. I feel blessed I’ve been able to lead the program.”
But, now he believes is the right time to let someone else do it.
Snowden’s final team at Clinton just finished the season with a 14-18 record. It came within one game of advancing to the state tournament, losing to Davenport Central in the substate championship.
But Snowden enjoyed some of his best seasons in recent years. His 2005 and 2007 squads advanced to the Class 4A state tournament. Clinton lost in the quarterfinals each of those years: 12-2 to Ankeny in 2005 and 5-4 to Cedar Rapids Kennedy in 2007.
“Obviously, the times we’ve gone to state were great times and great memories,” he said, noting that the 2007 tournament probably was the most memorable. “We had Kennedy on the ropes and then there’s the questionable balk call (that allowed the winning run to score).”
Snowden’s teams won more than 125 games the past seven seasons. Included in that span, the River Kings went 21-15 in 2005, 24-11 in 2007, 22-12 in 2008 and 25-8 in 2009.
The high-water mark for win-loss success came during the 2009 season when the River Kings were ranked among the top teams in the state, were in the Mississippi Athletic Conference title hunt all year and finished with a 25-8 record.
“That might have been the best team I had,” Snowden said. “I think we started off 17-0 and were ranked No. 1. We just ran into a buzzsaw that day (in the substate quarterfinals when Cedar Rapids Xavier rode the arm of standout pitcher Jon Keller, who was drafted in the 11th round the following year but opted to play collegiately at Nebraska, to beat the River Kings).”
Lueders said the search for a replacement already had begun.
“ I am very appreciative of the time and effort that Coach Snowden has put into our baseball program the past 20 years,” Lueders said. “He played an important role in the development of our new baseball/softball complex and laid the foundation for continued success in the future.”
The River Kings started playing at the new Durgin Complex at Eagle Heights Elementary School last season, and one thing Snowden looks forward to is continuing to do groundwork on the field.
“The new facility has been fantastic,” Snowden said.
Snowden said he would continue to teach physical education at Whittier Elementary School, as well as continue to serve as on the freshman coaching staff of the Clinton football team. He said he might even try serving on the coaching staff of another sport — perhaps track and field — in the future if there’s an opening.