CUMBERLAND—Sarah Bennis Jamo, the one-time Greely pitching legend, who led the Rangers to a superb 16-win campaign in her lone year as the head coach of the softball program, is leaving her alma mater to become the new softball coach at the University of Southern Maine.
Jamo will replace Bonny Brown-Denico, who remains USM’s field hockey coach.
Jamo said that she had a chance to live out a dream, even though she’ll miss Greely.
“The timing really worked out,” Jamo said. “I helped out part-time last year. Bonny decided to focus on field hockey. I was just hired a couple days ago. Growing up playing and loving softball, you dream about making a career in softball. This is an amazing opportunity. It’s tough to leave. I was only (at Greely) one season, but my ties run deep. Last year was a lot of fun. Going back and reconnecting was a highlight. (Athletic director) David Shapiro was very supportive. The whole community was great.”
Shapiro, in turn, said that while Greely will miss Jamo, she’ll be a great addition to USM.
“It’s a great fit for her,” Shapiro said. “Other coaches in the state think it’s great for softball in our state. It’s our loss, but we’re fortunate to have had her for a year. She’s thorough. She knows her ‘Xs’ and ‘Os.’ For a first-year coach, she had everyone on the same page. That can take years. She got the kids to perform at a high level.”
Jamo had one of the greatest pitching seasons in Maine high school softball history back in 2002 when she was close to unhittable, leading Greely to its first and to date only Class B state championship. After playing at the University of Maine, Jamo was an assistant coach and pitching coach at Merrimack College and served as the Pitching Coordinator at The Edge Academy in Portland before coaching Greely last spring.
Jamo won’t have much time to ease into the job. The fall season starts Sept. 10 and lasts four weeks with one playdate. The spring season actually begins at the end of January which is followed by a trip to Florida to start the campaign.
Jamo is excited about the program she’s inheriting.
“I’m looking to make it a very competitive program,” Jamo said. “Maine and southern Maine has a lot to offer softball-wise. I want to bring talent to USM.”
USM Director of Athletics Al Bean is excited about Jamo’s hire.
“Sarah has a great background in the game as a player and has been steadily building her resume as a coach,” Bean said. “She is well connected to many youth and club leagues and as a former high school coach in Maine, she knows those in the schools. Sarah brings great passion for the sport, an excellent vision of where USM softball can go, and a strong desire to build a program that is a destination. In my opinion, she has the ability to impact positive change in our program in a short period of time.”
Jamo resides in Pownal with her husband and one-year-old son.