Jones gets Scarborough baseball job

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SCARBOROUGH — Ryan Jones, the starting second baseman on Bangor High School’s 2006 Class A state championship baseball team, will try to bring similar success to his new job as head baseball coach at Scarborough.

The 25-year-old Jones, who served as an assistant coach for the Red Storm last spring, was named last Friday to replace Mike Coutts.

“I’m very fortunate,” said Jones. “And having been there last year will make it easier for me coming into the job in terms of knowing the guys and the program.”

Coutts, who guided Scarborough to a 17-3 record and the Western Class A championship in 2012, stepped down to take a job as an assistant softball coach at the University of Maine. Coutts’ wife, Lynn Coutts, is the Black Bears’ head softball coach.

Jones played baseball and golf at Bangor, then went to the University of Southern Maine, where he played baseball under Huskies’ coach Ed Flaherty for two years and is continuing his pursuit of a degree in business with a minor in sports management.

Jones also has coached both a 14-and-under AAU baseball team and a 16-and-under travel softball team in recent years, in addition to his assistant coaching stint at Scarborough last spring.

Scarborough graduated several key seniors from last year’s team that lost to Messalonskee of Oakland 6-3 in the Class A state final, including Ben Wessel, Scarborough’s 2012 Spring Male Athlete of the Year and the state’s 2012 Mr. Baseball, as well as regional final hero Joe Cronin and Connor McCann.

But Jones believes the Red Storm will be poised to contend again this spring.

“A lot of SMAA teams suffered significant losses from last year,” said Jones. “I kind of consider it a coin-flip league this year. It looks like a pretty even playing field.”

Scarborough athletic director Mike LeGage is impressed with his new hire.

“Coach Jones possesses great knowledge of the game of baseball and ability to teach the game to young people,” LeGage said. “He has developed this craft-knowledge from some of the very best in the state, working with Mike Coutts, Nick Caiazzo and Lynn Coutts and playing for Ed Flaherty.

“Coach Jones joins an outstanding family of coaches here in Scarborough. His contagious positive energy, passion for baseball and work ethic will help provide Scarborough’s student-athletes with a framework for success on and off the playing field.

“The Scarborough family of coaches is committed to being teachers first, as we believe that a dynamic program of athletics is a vital component of the educational development of students. The interview committee feels that Coach Jones will certainly add to the high quality of coaches here at Scarborough.”

The first day of preseason practices for high school pitchers and catchers statewide is March 19.

Forecaster sports editor Michael Hoffer contributed to this story.