Two of the tri-county area’s most prolific players and two of its most successful coaches will be inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in August.

Andy Bedard, T.J. Caouette and coaches Heidi Deery and Gavin Kane were announced Wednesday as part of the 17-member class.

Mountain Valley High School graduate Andy Bedard plays for the University of Maine in November 1998. Submitted photo

Current University of Maine women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon also is among the 2020 inductees.

Also being inducted are sisters Lynn and Sharon Bay of Portland, Elizabeth “Biz” Houghton of Cape Elizabeth, Ken Lynch and Chris Sawyer of South Portland and Richard “Dickie” Whitmore Jr. of Waterville. They’ll be joined by longtime high school coaches Arnold “Arnie” Clark, Tony DiBiase, Gerry Duffy, Phil Faulkner, Ed Feeney and David Halligan.

Seven others — South Paris native Al Card, Bryce Beattie, Ray Bicknell, Peter Gribbin, Jim Poulin, Steve Shaw and Mike Thurston — were chosen in the Legends category, and the 1987 Morse High boys basketball team will also be honored.

Bedard, a Rumford native, was a first-team all-state selection and, in what still stands as one of the state’s most legendary performances, scored a title-game record 53 points in Mountain Valley’s 84-71 Class B state championship game win over Camden-Rockport.

The 6-foot-1 Bedard played his senior season at Maine Central Institute, one of the country’s top prep school programs, before moving to play at Boston College. After two years there, he transferred to the University of Maine, where he was an American East first-team honoree and helped the Black Bears to a school-best 24 wins in 1999-2000.

The 6-foot-7 Caouette led Winthrop to the 1993 Class C state championship. He earned the 1996 Mr. Maine Basketball award and was a first-team all-state selection from 1994-96. As a senior he scored 57 points against Telstar. He was heavily recruited by top programs as one of the highest-rated power forwards of his class, ultimately deciding to play at Villanova, where he played four seasons.

Rangeley girls basketball coach Heidi Deery speaks to her team during a Class D South quarterfinal at the Augusta Civic Center in February 2019. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

Deery accomplished a feat no one else has, winning state championship as a player (1984) and a coach (1993, 2004, 2016) at the same school, Rangeley. The teams she coached also won regional titles in 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2015 and 2016. She has a .860 winning percentage. As a player, she received the Patricia Gallagher Award in 1984. She was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

Kane, also a New England Basketball Hall of Famer, has coached teams to seven state championships, 12 regional championships, 17 conference championships and 522 overall wins. He started his career at Rangeley, where he coach the boys team to his first state championship team in 1989. He then spent two years as an assistant at UMaine-Farmington before taking over the Dirigo girls team. Over 13 seasons, the Cougars went 263-17 and won six state titles and 11 consecutive Western Maine titles. Kane also coached the Dirigo girls and boys from 2005-07, and the boys only from 2007-09. He also coached at Spruce Mountain and Mt. Blue, and served as an assistant the the University of Maine. He currently coaches the University of Maine at Presque Isle women’s team.

Vachon has achieved success as both a player and coach at Maine. After a standout high school career at Cony, where she led the Rams two Class A state championships and was named Miss Maine Basketball in 1996, Vachon played on four straight NCAA tournament teams at Maine.

Vachon then went into coaching and won a girls Class A state championship at McAuley High School in 2011 before returning to Maine as an assistant coach. When head coach Richard Barron became ill in 2017, Vachon served as interim head coach and eventually was given the full-time job. She led the Black Bears to back-to-back America East championships in 2018 and 2019 and was chosen as the league’s coach of the year both times.

Vachon, Bedard and Caouette were all elected in their first year of eligibility — 20 years after their college careers ended.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.