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Jim Seavey, who inherited a struggling Scarborough girls’ basketball program and turned it into an undefeated state champion, is leaving the Red Storm to become an assistant coach to Gary Fifield with the University of Southern Maine women’s program.
In an interview Wednesday evening, Seavey said while he found it difficult to part with a promising group, he felt it was time to explore the next level.
“I have nothing negative to say about Scarborough,” Seavey said. “It was a great experience, but (coaching in college) has always been in the back of my mind. I’ve had aspirations of coaching at the next level. It’s time. I had it offered to me several years ago, but I wasn’t ready to give up my own program at that time. Now, I have to take that step and find out if it’s what I want to do. Gary has a great track record of placing his assistants.”
Seavey inherited a Scarborough program that went 5-13 in 2006 and guided it to an 8-11 mark the following year and a trip to the preliminary round of the playoffs, where the Red Storm lost to Kennebunk. By 2008, Scarborough was a 13-game winner and reached the Expo for the first time before falling to Westbrook in the quarterfinals. The 2009 squad won 17 games and hoped to upset Deering in the regional final, but wound up dropping a heartbreaking decision to Biddeford in the semifinals.
In 2010, nothing could stop the Red Storm.
Scarborough gained confidence with an early-season come-from-behind home win over Deering (then the two-time defending champion) and rolled to an 18-0 record. After barely surviving Biddeford and Deering (in the semifinals and regional final rounds, respectively), the Red Storm dominated Skowhegan in the final to finish 22-0.
After graduating the core of that special team and suffering through untimely injuries, Scarborough finished 6-12 last winter and missed the postseason.
Overall, Seavey was 67-32 with the Red Storm.
“I’ll always reflect on that first and so far only state championship,” Seavey said. “I had a lot of neat kids and great parents and boosters. I always had a lot of support.”
Seavey (a three-time Forecaster Coach of the Year selection) and his wife Heather are parents of a son, Quincy, and a daughter, Sydney.
Seavey said that ultimately spending time with his family helped influence his decision.
“My kids are very important,” he said. “I want them involved with my coaching. Gary and USM are open to me bringing the kids with me. Quincy can sit on the bench and go on the bus.”
Scarborough will seek to fill its position quickly. One prospective candidate could be longtime Biddeford coach Ron Cote, who had joined Seavey as an assistant with the Red Storm program during the summer.
Jim Seavey won 67 games in his five years with Scarborough and led the Red Storm to the 2010 Class A Gold Ball, the first ever for the school.