SCARBOROUGH—Mike Giordano has always worn the color red very well and after 17 years as the coach of the South Portland Red Riots girls’ basketball team, he’s taking over the Scarborough Red Storm.
Giordano was approved by the Scarborough School Board last week to become the new varsity coach, completing a nearly two month odyssey which saw him step down at South Portland, then land on his feet the next town over.
“I’m excited,” Giordano said. “It’s just a minor wardrobe adjustment.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an emotional roller-coaster. I enjoyed the kids and I enjoyed my time at South Portland. I’m not sure I could have picked a better place to land on my feet.”
Giordano went 206-125 (winning his 200th game last season) at South Portland, posted an undefeated regular season mark in 2004-05 and took the Red Riots to the regional final the following season.
South Portland went 12-7 last season, despite losing standout Danica Gleason to injury in late January. The Red Riots were ousted by Scarborough in the Western A quarterfinals.
Following the campaign, Giordano was given the Southwestern Maine Activities Association Coach of the Year award. He was The Forecaster’s Coach of the Year in 2004.
Giordano only missed the playoffs once and led South Portland to the postseason in each of his final 13 years.
Giordano becomes the Red Storm’s fourth coach in as many years, following Jim Seavey, Tom Maines and Ron Cote, who stepped down due to health concerns following a 16-4 campaign, which ended with a semifinal round loss to McAuley.
“I have lots of respect for the coaches before me,” Giordano said. “But it’s the kids who won’t accept anything short of success. We’ll build on that piece. I just met the girls and it was very exciting. I told them I’m very comfortable knowing who our opponents will be. This summer, I’ll learn about the team. We’re eager to get started. We start (summer ball practice Friday).”
Scarborough basketball boosters president Don Briggs feels Giordano is a great fit.
“It’s been an unfortunate set of circumstances over the past three years having to replace coaches, but each time, we’ve been fortunate to bring in quality people and very experienced coaches,” Briggs said. “Mike’s a great hire. He has many years of SMAA coaching experience, is passionate about the game, respected by his peers and is committed to developing a program and players.”
The Red Storm lost several key pieces to graduation, but expects to remain a top contender next winter.
“The program has enjoyed success over the past two seasons, but we lost a lot in our senior class in terms of experience and leadership,” Briggs said. “We’ll be young and inexperienced, so having Coach Giordano on board prior to the summer will only help him implement his philosophy and work with the younger players.”
Giordano, who has also begun a two-year term as the president of Maine Association of Basketball Coaches, expects his talented athletes to continue to achieve.
“We’ll do what we do well,” Giordano said. “I enjoy playing up-tempo. To be successful, the kids have to buy in.”
Longtime South Portland girls’ basketball coach Mike Giordano will be the new coach of the Scarborough girls’ varsity team.