Her heart says one thing, but her priorities tell her otherwise.

When Jeannine Paradis decided to resign as the girls’ basketball coach at Mt. Blue High School, it was a decision she didn’t want to make, but one she felt had to be done.

“It was a number of things,” said Paradis, who stepped down after six years but will continue to coach field hockey at the school. “What I wrote in my resignation is that my husband and I are trying to have a baby. So I need a time to prioritize my family. I have a young step-daughter. I need to make them a priority. It’s hard to start a family when you’re coaching nine or 10 months out of the year.”

Paradis told her players at graduation and made it official to the school last week.

“I’m in constant contact with my girls right now,” said Paradis. “They’re so upset, and I feel so bad for them.”

Paradis has been coaching basketball for 10 years and made the playoffs all six years while with the Cougar varsity. Prior to Mt. Blue, she had coached the boys’ JV program at Madison. She’s coached the Cougar field hockey program the last four years.

“I definitely love my girls, and they’re still going to be my girls,” said Paradis. “I follow them out of season as much as I do in season. It’s not an easy decision for me, and it definitely sooner than I would have liked to resign.”

Paradis said it is a decision she has been contemplating and discussing with her husband, Gary, for a few months. They celebrate their third anniversary in August and have wanted to start a family for some time.

“There are a number of other things, but that’s one major reason,” she said. “Certainly it is not my style to resign one week before summer basketball starts. So it was not an easy decision, and one I’m still struggling with.”

The program will continue to follow the summer plans that Paradis put into place. It is unknown who will coach the team until a new coach is hired. The Cougars graduated five seniors but still have promise with four freshmen or sophomores among seven returning players.

Because field hockey is a shorter season and has less profile than basketball, Paradis chose to continue with that program. She doesn’t rule out a return to basketball at some point.

“We’re competitive in both programs and it’s time to devote to the field hockey program what I’ve devoted to the basketball program,” she said.

Paradis’ career, at a glance

2007: 11-7, lost in Eastern A quarterfinal

2006: 11-7, lost in Eastern A preliminary

2005: 15-3, lost in Eastern A quarterfinal

2004: 12-6, lost in Eastern A preliminary

2003: 5-13, lost in Eastern A preliminary

2002: 7-11, lost in Eastern A quarterfinal

Total: 61-47 – not including 2-6 in the playoffs

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