Coach Neils Ludlow of El Camino Real High planned to drop the bombshell before the start of the City Section Championship final next week.
Carson foiled those plans.
After watching his Conquistadores lose to Carson, 1-0, in a City Championship semifinal game Tuesday at South Gate Park, Ludlow told his players he had just coached his last softball game.
"I think the time is right," said Ludlow, who is 310-57 in 16 seasons at El Camino Real. "It's time for someone else to enjoy all these wonderful things and wonderful experiences."
Ludlow is something of an icon in City Section history. He guided El Camino Real to an unprecedented 10 section titles and two runner-up finishes.