ORONO, Maine — University of Maine softball coach Lynn Coutts didn’t have to look very far for her new assistant coach.
Her husband of 24 years, former University of Maine baseball captain and assistant coach Mike Coutts, is her new full-time assistant coach.
He replaces Kevin Welch, who left after one season to return to his native Iowa.
“We’ve made it through 24 years of marriage, there’s no reason this shouldn’t work out,” quipped Mike Coutts, who spent the previous two years coaching the Scarborough High School baseball team.
“One thing I’ve always said to Lynn is I’m a coach. It’s what I do. It’s what I’m good at, it’s what I have a passion for, ” said the former head coach of two-time Cape Cod League champion Cotuit.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a white ball or a yellow one. Coaching is about being knowledgeable, caring about your players and being a good role model. That’s what goes into being a good coach and I think I bring that all to the table,” said Coutts.
They are currently working together during the team’s fall program.
“I’m thrilled,” said Lynn Coutts, who is in her second season at Maine. “I’m lucky to have him and the university is lucky to have him back.”
The two have actually coached softball together as they led an 18-under softball team from the Portland area to a fourth-place finish in an East Coast regional tournament several summers ago.
“We work really well together,” said Lynn. “He has more [coaching] experience than most. I don’t think I could find a more qualified person. Credentialwise, he brings another level to our program. We’re going to try to do that with our program. We want to raise the level.”
The two also worked together at a pair of Frozen Ropes training facilities they owned, one in Franklin, Mass., and the other in Portland.
“It may be unusual for some people but it’s what our life has always been,” said Lynn Coutts. “He brings a lot of energy to practice and the players have responded really well.”
Mike Coutts, a former third baseman who played in the College World Series and was an assistant under John Winkin for 11 years, will work primarily with the infielders and catchers while his wife will handle the pitchers and outfielders.
They will both work with the hitters and they will both be involved in the recruiting process.
Lynn Coutts was a former star pitcher for the Black Bears.
Mike Coutts said the “other piece to the puzzle is we are both passionate about University of Maine athletics.
“I’m excited to be back at Maine and coaching again at the collegiate level,” said Mike Coutts, who also coached in the Alaska summer league and spent two seasons coaching baseball at Portland’s Deering High School.
Coutts twice sought the job as the head coach of the UMaine baseball team: in 1996 when the post went to Paul Kostacopoulos and in 2005 when the job went to current coach Steve Trimper.
Coutts won a state Class A championship at Deering and his Scarborough team was the Western Maine A titleist a year ago before losing to Messalonskee of Oakland in the state title game.
He has been impressed with the Maine women so far.
“It’s been great. The players have been awesome. They work hard,” said Mike Coutts.
The Couttses, who moved to Orono this summer, have two children: 14-year-old Jackson and 10-year-old Maggie.