GUILFORD, Maine — Jamie Russell, who recently resigned from his second stint as the boys varsity basketball coach at Penobscot Valley High School in Howland, will revisit another former coaching stop next winter.
Russell, who has accumulated 304 victories during his 27-year coaching career, has been named the boys varsity basketball coach at Piscataquis Community High School.
Russell replaces Dave Pepin, who resigned earlier this year after three seasons as the Pirates’ head coach.
Russell, who compiled a 40-37 record while coaching at Penobscot Valley for the last four seasons, previously coached at Piscataquis from 2000 to 2008 and guided the Pirates to the 2001 Eastern Maine Class C championship.
“It’s a home run for us,” said Piscataquis athletic administrator Brian Gaw. “Any time you can get someone with Jamie’s experience and reputation and attention to detail, it’s a great thing. He’s a quality coach from the word go, and we’re looking forward to having him here.”
A physical education teacher at Central High School in Corinth, the Penquis of Milo graduate began his varsity coaching career at Penobscot Valley in 1986, with a subsequent stop at Central before his first stint at Piscataquis.
One of the smaller schools in Eastern Maine Class C with an enrollment of approximately 220, Piscataquis finished with a 6-12 record last winter.
The Pirates last qualified for postseason play in 2011, when they reached the Eastern C preliminary round before falling to Washington Academy of East Machias 65-59 in overtime.
Pirates field tennis teams
Piscataquis Community High School is fielding varsity boys and girls tennis teams for the first time this spring, with about 10 percent of the student body participating in the sport.
Approximately 23 boys and girls are playing the sport.
“It was just a response to local interest,” said Gaw of the school’s decision to add varsity tennis teams. “We offered it as a club sport last year and it went fantastically, so we went ahead with making it varsity this year.”
The girls team has 14-15 players on its roster this spring, while there are eight or nine players on the boys team, Gaw said. Both teams are coached by Emily Wilson.
The girls squad scored its first-ever victory on April 25 when the Pirates edged Schenck of East Millinocket 3-2, while the boys team is still looking for its first victory.
Tennis joins track and field, baseball and softball as varsity spring sports offered at Piscataquis.
“We’ve got a pretty good percentage of the student body playing sports here,” Gaw said.