Paul Baruffi, one of the most successful basketball coaches in South Jersey history, confirmed today that he will not return for his 21st season as coach of the Ocean City High School girls basketball team.

His final game was a win over Egg Harbor Township on Saturday, finishing the COVID-19 season with a 6-5 record and ending his remarkable career with a record of 429-129, exactly 300 wins above .500.

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“A veteran coach told me a long time ago that you will know when it is time,” Baruffi said. “I actually was thinking about it at the end of last season. The way it ended with not being able to play in the state final and once I learned about the shortened season this year, I decided to stay on. It wouldn’t have been a situation to put a new coach in. Also, if I can’t give 100 percent, I’m not hanging on. At this time I don’t think the players would be getting that from me.”

Baruffi is currently third among Cape-Atlantic League girls basketball coaches, trailing only Steve DiPatri of Wildwood Catholic and Dave Troiano, the retired coach from Wildwood. Baruffi has a 54-18 record in the NJSIAA Tournament. His teams won eight South Jersey championships, including last season, the most by any CAL girls coach. His 2013 team won a state championship, the only one in OCHS girls basketball history.

His teams were 16-6 in the CAL Tournament, winning the championship six times, more than any other girls coach.

“My fondest memories are all the team achievements, the great players, families and the support of the community,” Baruffi said. “But beating Christ The King is something I will never forget.” New York’s Christ The King is considered one of the greatest girls basketball programs in the country. Baruffi’s Raiders defeated them in Prime Events Girls Shootout at Holy Spirit in 2009.

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