GRAY — One winning addition to the Gray-New Gloucester High School athletic department deserves another.
Along with tabbing Maine coaching legend Tony DiBiase as its next boys’ basketball coach, Gray-NG has appointed Jeff Ramich of Lisbon to the post of co-curricular coordinator.
Ramich, 43, held the same job at Lisbon High School and Philip W. Sugg Middle School for nine years. He left that position in August 2009 to become Sugg’s principal.
“I applied on a Thursday and got the call on Friday, so I think the interview process went well,” Ramich said. “I can’t wait to get over there and get started. I wanted to start the day they hired me.”
He will succeed Melanie Craig in the Gray-NG athletic office July 1.
Not long after taking the next step up the “corporate ladder” of education, as Ramich put it, he recognized that the day-to-day interaction of teaching and coaching was a void that his administrative job couldn’t fill.
“I worked hard at it. That’s something I’ve always tried to take pride in,” Ramich said. “But it just wasn’t a good fit.
“It wasn’t me. I tremendously missed athletics. I found that I was spending a lot of time behind closed doors instead of interacting with the kids all day long and a lot of times all night long. And that’s the reason I got into education in the first place.”
Exchanging the red and black of Lisbon for the red, white and blue of Gray-NG also means bidding farewell to the school system that has provided the backdrop for most of Ramich’s life.
Ramich graduated from Lisbon and the University of Maine.
He eventually succeeded Jeff Benson in the AD’s chair when Benson left Lisbon, coincidentally, for Gray-NG.
That followed a diverse career with the whistle and clipboard. When Ramich declares that coaching is in his blood, he isn’t kidding.
He was an assistant football coach and held both the varsity and junior varsity baseball and boys’ basketball jobs at Lisbon.
Ramich began his professional climb as a physical education teacher in Oxford and Otisfield. He was an assistant football, track and field and girls’ basketball coach at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School those four years.
As a college junior and senior, Ramich was a football assistant at Foxcroft Academy and a middle school baseball coach in Veazie.
“That’s what I am. I’m a coach and a co-curricular director,” Ramich said. “I was a little bit out of my comfort zone. But change is good and challenges are good.”
During Ramich’s tenure as Lisbon AD, the Greyhounds won multiple Class C football and wrestling championships and Mountain Valley Conference track and field titles.
Ramich will commute to work from Lisbon, and his ties to the school remain strong. Ramich’s daughter, Kyrstin, will be a senior next year. His son, Cam, is an incoming freshman.
Hoops have kept the Patriots in the news out-of-season this spring.
Katie Whittier, a former girls’ basketball star at Gray-NG who enjoyed a successful career at the University of Maine, recently was fourth runner-up in the Miss USA pageant.
The boys’ program made its own headlines when DiBiase, whose career includes more than 300 wins and state championships at Gorham, Portland and South Portland, took the helm.
“I am pumped about Tony,” Ramich said. “That just fell into my lap. I had nothing to do with it.”