Terry Cummings, who recently resigned after three years as the men’s basketball coach at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, has been named the new boys varsity basketball coach at Presque Isle High School.
Cummings replaces Tim Prescott, who stepped down this spring after guiding the Wildcats to a 321-186 record over the past 26 seasons.
“I’m obviously really excited about this,” said Cummings. “They haven’t had many coaches over the last 70 or 80 years so it was an honor just to be considered.”
Cummings was one of “five or six” applicants for the job, according to Presque Isle athletic administrator Dave Heald.
“He was the best candidate we had,” said Heald, who is retiring at the end of June and being replaced as athletic administrator by Mark White, a veteran teacher and coach in the Presque Isle school system.
“Terry brings a lot to the table as far as his ability to coach and also his moral character and his professionalism,” said Heald. “I think he’ll fit in well at Presque Isle.”
Cummings, a Bangor Daily All-Maine third-team selection in 1987 while a guard at Houlton High School, went on to score more than 2,000 career points at UMPI and is in that school’s Hall of Fame.
He later served as athletic director at Greater Houlton Christian Academy from 2003 through 2008 and also coached boys and girls basketball there, including two years of coaching both varsity teams at the same time.
The GHCA girls squad compiled a 34-7 record under Cummings, reaching the Eastern Maine Class D semifinals in 2007 and the quarterfinals in 2008.
Cummings then went on to coach men’s basketball at UMPI, but resigned along with women’s basketball coach Tracy Guerrette in May in large part because of the university’s decision to lay off athletic administrator Bill Casavant a year earlier for budgetary reasons.
Guerrette has since been named director of women’s basketball operations at the University of Maine.
Cummings said he will serve as a permanent full-time substitute teacher at Presque Isle High School beginning this fall, which he says will be helpful in getting to know prospective basketball players at the school.
“In other coaching situations I’ve been in, I’ve already known the players,” said Cummings, who with his wife and two children are pondering a move from their current home in Houlton to the Presque Isle area. “And when I was at UMPI I knew a few of the seniors as players I might like to have play for me for the next few years.
“But coming into the high school, I don’t know a lot of the players yet, and while some of them may have heard of me, we haven’t met yet.”
Cummings currently is vacationing in the Midwest, but he is scheduled to return home on June 17, the final day of school at Presque Isle.
“We’ll get right going after that, have a meet-and-greet and get the summer program growing,” he said.
Presque Isle, which was a Class A program until 2004, has been one of the stronger Eastern B teams in recent years. The Wildcats went 17-1 during the regular season last winter before being ousted by Gardiner in the regional quarterfinals.
“Presque Isle’s a big basketball community, and that’s part of the challenge,” said Cummings. “There’s some pressure there, but there’s pressure everywhere today.”