With the start of the high school basketball season just slightly over two months away, Scarborough girls’ coach Tom Maines, one of the storied coaches in state history, who led the Red Storm to a surprising 19 wins and a berth in the Western Class A Final back in Feburary, has stepped down.
“It was a very difficult decision,” said Maines. “I’m going to miss the hell out of the kids and the community. I never had a team respond, male or female, like they did last year. It was a lot of fun. I really appreciated it. It was a pleasure working with them.”
Maines said there were a couple reasons for his decision.
“Travel became very difficult,” said Maines, who lives in Brunswick. “Coaches don’t make much as it is. The travel cut into the household budget. We also would have had to change the practice schedule if my wife (Rita, who was an assistant last year and formerly coached the Brunswick girls’ varsity program) would be involved. That would have made it difficult physically. We looked at the economics and decided to do it now, so they could get a new coach in.”
Maines said that the players were “disappointed, just like I would be in their position.”
During his time with Scarborough, Maines was very vocal about what he perceives to be an inequity between public and private schools playing in the same tournament. The only two games the Red Storm lost in 2011-12 were to eventual repeat Class A champion McAuley, a private school.
Maines did say that the issue was not a reason that he was stepping down.
“Now I can highlight my objection,” said Maines. “I don’t begrudge anyone getting a private education. In many cases, a private education is better than a public education, but when it comes to interscholastic play, especially basketball, with so few players, McAuley just has to pick good players from other towns like Cape, Falmouth, Greely, Scarborough and Yarmouth, who are great public education institutions. I’ve always felt that was unfair. I’ve always expressed my opinion if there’s something detrimental to the youth of a community. I get criticized for that vocalization, but others remain silent.
“Maine is the only New England state that has a tournament with public and private schools. All it takes is one principal to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ then take it to their membership, (the Maine Principals’ Association), and make a change.”
Looking ahead, Maines said that he has no plans to coach this winter, other than running a coaches’ clinic in November.
“We’ll have some of the top boys’ coaches in the state and a few women too,” Maines said. “That will be fun.”
Scarborough athletic director Mike LeGage praised Maines for the season he spent with the program.
“Coach Maines did a wonderful job with our student-athletes,” said LeGage. “As his record shows, he elevated the quality of our program. We wish him the very best in all his future plans.”
LeGage added that the opening will be posted.
“We look forward to receiving many applications given the quality of the program,” LeGage said.
Tom Maines coached just one season at Scarborough, but led the Red Storm all the way to the Western A Final. He announced earlier this week that he is stepping down.