SCARBOROUGH—Scarborough girls’ basketball coach Ron Cote has stepped down after one season due to personal health issues.
Cote, who replaced Tom Maines as coach just a little over a month before the start of last season, went 16-4 and led the Red Storm to the Western Class A semifinals, where it lost to eventual state champion McAuley, 47-38, said he had hoped to coach for several more years, but was forced to make the decision.
“I feel badly about doing this, my intention was to stay at least five years, but I’ve got personal health issues that developed this year that will prevent me from being an effective coach like I want to be,” Cote said. “My experience at Scarborough was terrific. I thought the administration, the boosters and the parents were supportive. The kids were great to work with. We had a really good year. I really enjoyed it.”
Cote, 62, has been a longtime Maine high school sports fixture, first as a three-sport athlete at St. Louis High School in Biddeford, then, after playing football at the University of Maine, as a coach for nearly four decades, most notably at Biddeford.
Cote was a 2003 recipient of the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors award and also coached the University of New England men’s basketball program for seven years in the 1990s. The Southern Maine Activities Association’s Coach of the Year award is named in his honor.
Scarborough basketball boosters president Don Briggs, who once played for Cote, said he was sorry to see the coach leave, but that he was glad his sophomore daughter, Ashley, had an opportunity to play for him.
“As frustrating as it is to have to hire another coach, I absolutely support his decision 100 percent,” Briggs said, in an email. “I have known the man for 33 years. I played for him and coached with him at UNE. He’s just a tremendous person.”
Scarborough athletic director Mike LeGage also had high praise for the outgoing coach.
“(Ron led us) through another exceptional season,” said LeGage. “He was an outstanding addition to our athletic family of coaches. He is a true gentleman and a remarkable coach and leader with a great basketball mind. He will truly be missed at Scarborough. We feel so fortunate to have had him for the time we did.”
Next winter, Scarborough will have its fourth different coach in as many seasons. The process to find Cote’s replacement is underway.