Mt. Blue and Spruce Mountain athletic directors Chad Brackett and Marc Keller have been hustling to fill a handful of coaching vacancies before the spring season begins, which was supposed to have been at the end of March with preseason practices before getting pushed back on Friday.

Four new head coaches were hired at Mt. Blue and two at Spruce, and there are several assistants who also came on board at both high schools.

Brackett also went hunting for a coach to oversee the the Cougars’ new varsity girls lacrosse team, which transitioned from a club team this season. He didn’t have to go far to find Keilly Lynch, a UMaine-Farmington senior lacrosse standout and education major.

UMaine-Farmington senior Keilly Lynch will become the new Mt. Blue girls lacrosse coach this season. Jeff Lamb Photography

“She is one of the captains of the UMF women’s lacrosse team,” Brackett said. “I believe she scored her 100th-career point. She has been playing lacrosse most of her life and has incredible knowledge of the game. I know she is going to do a great job.”

Brackett added that one of Lynch’s goals in life was to become a high school lacrosse coach.

“So that is her first opportunity to do that. She did a great job in her interview and we feel really good about her,” Brackett said. “She is young, but you can tell that this is something she is going to put a lot of time into.

Lynch was looking at budgeting her time between playing for UMF and coaching at Mt. Blue before it was announced that UMF’s spring season had been canceled.

Mt. Blue has hired Nic Koban to replace Ben Davis, who stepped down after one year of being at the helm of the Cougars baseball team.

“Koban was a volunteer coach for Ben last year,” Brackett said. “Nic is a math professor at UMF and has been involved in baseball at the Little League and Babe Ruth levels here for many years.

“He has some past experience coaching pitching at the college level, and I think he has a good understanding of baseball at the youth level and will help us try to turn the program around.”

Matt Reynolds, a Mt. Blue graduate, is replacing longtime boys lacrosse coach Kevin Averill, who left to take a teaching job at another school.

“He has been our (boys lacrosse) assistant and JV coach for the past two years,’’ Brackett said. “Matt has a tremendous amount of experience coaching lacrosse. 

“As well as coaching other sports, he is our assistant Alpine ski coach. So he has a tremendous amount of coaching experience across many levels. He has got a great track record. He is from the area.”

Judy Upham, who had great success coaching the girls tennis team for years, has also moved on to spend more time with her family.

“Judy has got some grandkids that she wants to be able to visit more often,” Brackett said. “She will still be around the program quite a bit, but she wants to be able to travel more frequently to spend time with her expanding family.”

Brackett is counting on John Schoen, who is a retired teacher from Mt. Blue, to fill Upham’s big shoes. 

“He has been involved in Mt. Blue tennis in various forms from the beginning of there being Mt. Blue tennis in 1990s,” Brackett said. “So he was here when the boys team started as a club. He helped out Judy for many years when his own daughter was playing.

“He has a lot of personal playing experience. He knows the game of tennis very well. He has played tennis his entire life.”

JUST DOWN THE ROAD

Keller has chosen Lisa Dube to replace Clint Brooks as the new head softball coach and Mary Redmond-Luce will take over the varsity boys tennis team from outgoing, longtime coach Bill Acritelli.

“(Dube) is moving up from the middle school,” Keller said. “She has got a lot of experience. She coached the varsity program at Mt. Blue for a couple of years.

“Redmond-Luce works up at Mt. Blue. She hasn’t done any coaching. She volunteered with us last year.”


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