Newport Harbor High softball coach Russell Hartman has resigned after three years at the helm, Sailors Athletic Director Mike Zimmerman said Tuesday.

Zimmerman said that Hartman had an opportunity to coach softball in San Antonio, Texas. He submitted a letter of resignation about two weeks ago.

"It sounded like it was a good move for him," Zimmerman said. "It's tough to lose someone like that. We'll start our search in the beginning of July and see what we find."

The Sailors were 17-64-1 overall under Hartman, and 1-29 in the tough Sunset League. This year they were 2-23-1 and 0-10 in league, although both of their wins came over district foes, Corona del Mar and Estancia.

Newport Harbor snapped a 53-game league losing streak with a victory over Fountain Valley last year, but since then the Sailors have lost 18 straight league games.

Still, Zimmerman said the program has improved in recent years, noting that there were enough players to field junior varsity teams the last two years.

"I think Russell left the program in better condition than he found it," Zimmerman said. "We can take our time and try to find the best person for the job ... It's one of the programs we'd like to see continue to grow and improve."

Interested applicants can send a letter of interest and resume to Zimmerman at mzim@nmusd.us.

— Matt Szabo