Vachon makes successful debut as UMaine’s fill-in head coach

Posted Jan. 07, 2017, at 8 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 08, 2017, at 11:56 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The last time Amy Vachon was a head coach, she led the former Catherine McAuley High School of Portland to the Class A schoolgirl basketball state championship in 2011.

It was her first season, and she guided the Lions to a 20-2 record.

She returned to a head coach role while filling in for ailing University of Maine women’s basketball head coach Richard Barron on Saturday afternoon, and she guided the Black Bears to a convincing 72-40 America East victory over the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The former Cony High of Augusta and UMaine star guard is in her sixth year as an assistant coach at her alma mater. She was promoted to associate head coach last May.

Vachon said her first head coaching gig at UMaine was “all right.”

“It was a little strange,” Vachon said. “But it was all four of us doing it. I was the one standing up once in awhile but it was the whole staff that was coaching that game.

“It was fun,” Vachon added.

Vachon was referring to assistant coaches Edniesha Curry, Samantha Baranowski and Jhasmin Player.

Player had been the director of basketball operations but, with Barron on medical leave, she has been added to the coaching staff.

Even though he wasn’t at the game, Barron will get credit for the coaching win under league rules.

Vachon said she wasn’t too nervous before the game because “it’s really not about me.”

“The kids were prepared. I just had a good feeling that they were ready to go today,” Vachon said. “When you have a good feeling like that as an assistant coach or a head coach, it’s nice.

“When you don’t know what to expect, there’s no reason to be nervous.”

Vachon said she was true to herself on the sidelines while also implementing some of the things she has learned from Barron.

“We’ve worked together for six years so a lot of the things we do and a lot of my philosophy is coach Barron’s philosophy,” Vachon said. “I’m not going to try to go off course.

“We’re different people. The way I coach is different from the way he coaches. You can’t coach who you’re not. Maybe some of the things we did [today] coach Barron might not have done. But I’m not coach Barron. And I’m sure it’s vice versa.

“Our staff has to do what’s best for us,” she said.

Freshman guards Blanca Millan and Julie Brosseau gave Vachon high marks.

“She did a real good job,” Brosseau said.

 

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