Southern edition Winter Coaches of the Year

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Boys’ team:

PHIL CONLEY-Scarborough basketball

Phil Conley knows how to win. Scarborough’s boys’ basketball team needed to learn how to win and a perfect marriage was born. This winter, in just Conley’s second season in a new shade of red, he led the Red Storm to their finest-ever season, one which ended just five agonizing points shy of a Gold Ball.

For turning a program around quickly and historically and for setting the stage for even bigger things down the road, Phil Conley is The Forecaster’s choice as our Southern edition boys’ team Winter Coach of the Year.

Conley was also chosen Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2013.

Conley played at Deering High School and New England College and after a long stint as Tony DiBiase’s assistant, took over the South Portland varsity program in 2007. Conley would win 108 games with the Red Riots, take them to the playoffs seven times and to the Class A state final (a narrow loss to Hampden Academy) in 2013. Following a 16-4 campaign in 2014-15, Conley stepped down when he learned he wouldn’t be asked to return.

After sitting out a year, Conley returned to coaching in 2016 in Scarborough and after the Red Storm started 0-10, he guided them to seven victories and a trip to the Class AA South semifinals. This season, with his program in place, Scarborough took it to a new level. A never-before-seen level. The Red Storm won 14 regular season games, earned the top seed for the playoffs for the first time, then didn’t just reach the regional final for the first time in program annals, they won it, poetically beating South Portland in the process. While Scarborough’s dream of cutting down the nets ended with a 41-36 loss to Edward Little, it was a magical ride for the team, the town and the coach.

“I’m extremely proud of the young men on my team,” said Conley. “They’ll be able to look back at a special season. This has been really meaningful for me. Scarborough has been wonderful. Mike LeGage, the athletic director, and the whole administration believes in me. I’m glad I’m here.”

Conley, who also teaches health and physical education at Brown and Small Elementary Schools in South Portland, has the Red Storm primed to remain at the top for a long time.

Phil Conley, our Southern edition boys’ team Winter Coach of the Year, has returned to the coaching ranks in triumphant fashion. The Scarborough program is in very good hands.

Previous winners:

2016-17 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2015-16 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)

2014-15 Norm Gagne (Scarborough hockey)

2013-14 Joe Robinson (South Portland hockey)

2012-13 Phil Conley (South Portland basketball)

2011-12 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)

2010-11 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2009-10 Joe Robinson (South Portland hockey)

2008-09 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)

2007-08 Phil Conley (South Portland basketball).

2006-07 Tony DiBiase (South Portland basketball)

2005-06 Jay Mazur (Scarborough hockey)

2004-05 Jason Tremblay (Cape Elizabeth hockey)

2003-04 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2002-03 Matt Townsend (Scarborough basketball)

2001-02 Paul Brogan (South Portland indoor track)

Girls’ team:

MIKE GIORDANO-Scarborough basketball

Scarborough overcame a slow start this winter, caught fire, then found itself one of the final two teams standing in a very competitive region.

Mike Giordano got his team to come together at the right time, earned a landmark victory along the way and for his work with the Red Storm, gets The Forecaster’s nod as our Southern edition Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Giordano was previously honored in 2004.

Giordano spent 17 years as the South Portland girls’ coach, winning over 200 games and leading the Red Riots to the playoffs every year but once. He stepped down after the 2012-13 season.

Giordano wasn’t out of coaching, or out of the color red for long, as he took over the Scarborough program the following season. Giordano led the Red Storm to the playoffs each of his first four years, but this season, the program got to another level.

On Jan. 2, Scarborough beat Noble, giving Giordano his 250th career win. That was victory number two in a 13-game win streak to end the regular season. As the No. 2 seed in Class AA South, the Red Storm then downed Sanford and Bonny Eagle to make it 15 straight and reach the regional final for the first time in six years. While Scarborough lost to Gorham, a 17-4 campaign was one to hail.

“It was a great year,” Giordano said. “We started off slow then we played well for a really long time. I had a great group of kids.”

Scarborough figures to be right back in the hunt next winter and the wins will keep on coming as long as Mike Giordano, our Southern edition girls’ team Coach of the Year, continues to lead the way.

Previous winners:

2016-17 Ben Raymond (Cape Elizabeth swimming)

2015-16 Lynne Hasson (South Portland basketball)

2014-15 Chris Casterella (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2013-14 Caitlin Cashman (Scarborough hockey)

2012-13 Chris Casterella (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2011-12 Tom Maines (Scarborough basketball)

2010-11 Chris Roberts (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2009-10 Jim Seavey (Scarborough basketball)

2008-09 Chris Roberts (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2007-08 Bre Fortiguerra (Scarborough hockey)

2006-07 Ron Kelly (Scarborough track)

2005-06 Deven Morrill (Cape Elizabeth Nordic skiing)

2004-05 Ron Kelly (Scarborough Indoor track)

2003-04 Mike Giordano (South Portland basketball)

2002-03 Kerry Kertes (Cape Elizabeth swimming)

2001-02 Tim Kipp (Scarborough swimming)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter:@foresports.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.