Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

Riba steps down as Panthers head coach

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


KENLY — North Johnston High is looking for a new varsity football coach after Jonathan Riba resigned at the end of this past season.

Riba finished with a 15-19 record in three years as head coach, including 3-8 this season. His best season was his first one in 2016 when North Johnston finished 7-5 and was in contention in the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference and reached the state 2-A playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

Riba, who came to Kenly as part of former Panthers head coach Ashley Ennis’ staff more than four years ago, said coaching the Panthers was the “best day job he ever had.”

The reason he resigned was personal, Riba said, adding that he needed a break. His son Travis, who was a senior receiver/linebacker at North Johnston this past season, will likely be playing college rugby out of state. Jonathan Riba said that he would like to be able to go watch him play, which would be hard if he was coaching.

Riba did not coach this season’s final game due to a personal issue at home, he said.

Jonathan said he enjoyed his time in Kenly and the next coach was getting a great administration, good players and a “great foundation.”

Johnston County Public Schools Athletics Director Brent Walston declined to comment.