He knew over a year ago that this would be his last season as head wrestling coach at Pennridge and, boy, did it end well.
After five seasons as head coach (and three seasons before that as an assistant) R.P. Norley has stepped down from leading the Rams.
Fortunately for him, the last time he was in the corner for one of his wrestlers in early March in Hershey, that wrestler, senior Josh Stillings, won a PIAA Class AAA state title at 182 pounds.
"It definitely was kind of a dream ending for sure," said Norley, 35. "Josh is such a great kid, and we had come so close over the years to getting a state champ, to have him win in what I knew was my last match coaching was just great.
"I've always tried to make it about the kids, above anything else, and I hope I was able to do that."
By stepping aside, Norley, a husband and father of four young children, will be able to spend more time with his family.
"I'm really looking forward to that," Norley said. "I work third shift and trying to be a good husband and father, while also trying to be a good wrestling coach, is really hard and you never get much sleep. I want to enjoy my family.
"I talked to a lot of other coaches in the area and took their advice to focus on my family. There will always be time later, when the kids are older, to get back into coaching, and I will still help out at Pennridge, but it was getting to be a grind and it just wasn't fair to my family."
In just his five seasons, Norley continually took wrestlers to Hershey and nearly had a state champion in current Lehigh University standout Scott Parker, who lost in overtime, in the state title match.
"The only stat I ever really cared about was developing kids to try and get them ready to wrestle and excel at the next level," Norley said. "I take a lot of pride in those kids, Scott (Parker), Ben (Ross), Kyle (Gentile), Matt (Parker), and a bunch of others.
"Those kids put in the work and made it fun. I'm just glad I was able to help them. And I also had so much help from so many people over the years, that was just great."
When Stillings won in Hershey, it was hard to decide who was more excited, the wrestler or the coach.
"I was really, really happy, but R.P. was just pumped," said Stillings, who will wrestle at Drexel University.
"He has meant so much to the Pennridge program and he helped so many wrestlers with so many things besides just wrestling. I was very fortunate that he was my coach and I know all of the other guys that have gone through the program feel the same way about him because he cared about all of us."