David Ripley has announced he will step down as Northamptonshire’s Head Coach at the end of the 2021 season.
His decision, which he revealed to the players before the current fixture on Sunday morning and to supporters at the Club’s AGM on Tuesday evening, ends a ten-year tenure at the helm as he shifts focus into a different coaching role within the club.
‘Rips’ succeeded the late David Capel as head coach midway through the 2012 season, and the following summer saw the Steelbacks – under the captaincy of Alex Wakely – lift the domestic Twenty20 title, the club’s first major honour for 21 years.
Northamptonshire also secured promotion into Division One of the County Championship at the end the same campaign, and in 2016 more T20 success followed with another victory in finals day at Edgbaston.
It cemented the reputation of the Ripley/Wakely leadership team, along with assistant coach Phil Rowe, as arguably the most successful combination in Northamptonshire history. Widely praised for innovative thinking in the shortest format of the game and achieving silverware with limited resources.
In 2019, skippered by Adam Rossington, the County earned another shot at the Championship’s first division – only for the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent Northamptonshire taking their place in Division One for 2020.
Ripley’s playing career with Northamptonshire began nearly four decades ago in August 1982 – aged only 16 – when he made his debut for the Second XI (led by Jim Yardley) against Essex at Wellingborough School.
He turned out for the first team two years later, memorably hitting 42 going in as ‘nightwatchman opener’ against the West Indies at Bletchley in only his second appearance. In 306 first-class matches for the County between 1984 and 2001 Ripley scored 8,681 runs (with nine three-figure scores, including a double-hundred against Glamorgan in 1998) and claimed 752 dismissals behind the stumps, second only to Keith Andrew in the club’s all-time list.
He also played 281 List A matches in Northamptonshire colours and was a member of the side that won the NatWest Trophy with victory over Leicestershire at Lord’s in 1992.
After retiring as a player in 2001 – captaining the side in his final season – he launched his second career with the club as a coach, helping to develop the next generation of Northamptonshire cricketers. His first Under-15s squad in 2002 including a fresh-faced left-arm spinner named Graeme White.
He moved up to Academy Director in 2006 and also took charge of the Second XI before beginning his ten-year stint running the firsts.
Ripley will continue to lead the Club’s First XI until the end of the season before transitioning into a new coaching role within the Club.