Lewiston High School girls varsity basketball coach Lynn Girouard talks to her team during a timeout during a game in 2018. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Saying her relationship with parents had reached a “boiling point,” Lynn Girouard has resigned as Lewiston varsity girls basketball coach after six seasons.

Girouard, 38, submitted her letter of resignation earlier this week. The 1999 Lewiston graduate compiled a 39-74 record.

Girouard declined to be interviewed for this story but in a letter to the Sun Journal said after careful consideration she decided to resign due to a deteriorating relationship with parents that had come to a head over recent comments on social media.

“Unfortunately, the increasing dissatisfaction, anger and/or hostility from a number of parents has reached its boiling point,” Girouard said. “I have come to the realization that my coaching staff and the parents are not on the same page as far as what we would like the student-athletes to receive from the high school basketball experience.”

Lewiston athletic director Jason Fuller said he was sorry to receive Girouard’s decision, adding, “She’s done a lot for the community, whether it is as an athlete or as a coach.” He was pleased with the program’s progress under Girouard, but injuries prevented the Blue Devils’ record from reflecting that over the past two seasons.

“I feel bad for Lynn because I know how much time she’s devoted to the program,” he said.

Fuller said the school has begun advertising for the position and hopes to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.

The Blue Devils finished 4-15 last year, beating rival Edward Little for the first time since 2005 during the regular season and losing to the eventual state champion Oxford Hills in the quarterfinals of the Class AA North tournament. Lewiston’s best year was in 2016, when it finished 10-10 and, as the No. 6 seed, upset third-seeded Bangor in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual regional champion Edward Little in the semifinals. Two years later, the Blue Devils went 8-11 and fell to the Red Eddies, the eventual state champions, by one point in the quarterfinals.

Girouard graduated from Lewiston in 1999, the same year she helped lead the Blue Devils to their most recent regional title. The Devils lost to Mt. Blue in the Class A state title game.

She went on to star at Central Maine Community College for four years and, in 2009, was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame as a junior college player.

“Basketball has been a huge part of my life,” said Girouard, who was named Miss Maine Basketball as the state’s top senior high school player in 1999. “I played for Lewiston for four years and had a lot of success as a player.”

Girouard added: “When I first returned to my former high school to coach, my goal was to restore respect, excitement and competitiveness to my beloved Blue Devils. I modeled myself on the coaching I had received from coaches like Mike McGraw. I worked hard to maintain a coaching philosophy that is based on positive reinforcement. I encouraged my players to win and lose with dignity. I hoped that this philosophy would carry over to our parents, but it has become increasingly clear that a number of parents did not want to support my coaching approach.”

Girouard noted that she has also had “many wonderful supportive parents” over the years but could not abide those questioning her integrity as a coach and parent. Some of the comments accused Girouard of playing favorites for playing time based on the friendships of her daughter, who is in middle school.

“When I am in the gym coaching, I am a coach first,” she said. “My daughter’s friendships have no bearing on who I would play. This concern bothers me the most because it attacked my character as a coach and a mother.”

Girouard said the comments “showed how personal some of these parents were willing to go to have me resign. I cannot and will not put my family through this sort of smear campaign.”

Girouard said she was grateful for the support she received from her family and her mentors, McGraw and Fuller, during her coaching career, and the outpouring of support she’s received from her coaching peers since her resignation. She said she is not sure if she will coach again but has no immediate plans.

“I have had the pleasure of helping many student-athletes develop important life skills,” she said, “like how to be a good teammate, how to stay confident under pressure and how to win and lose with grace.

“My hope is that the Lewiston girls basketball program will develop a more healthy and supportive culture,” she said. “I am saddened that I could not attain this and be a part of a thriving program focused on growth and not just winning records.”

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