Having been a girls basketball head coach for the last two decades, the game is in Craig Jipson’s blood.
But after spending 20 years on the sidelines, the last 12 at Edward Little High School, Jipson is ready to enjoy the game from a new perspective.
Jipson, who compiled 174 victories at the Auburn high school, has decided to retire from coaching the Red Eddies, he confirmed at during the McDonald’s Senior All-Star weekend in Bangor.
Jipson had two sons who played on Edward Little’s boys squad this winter, senior C.J. and freshman Storm, and that was a major factor in his decision.
“It was so hard missing so many of my older son’s games,” Jipson said. “I just don’t want to miss that many of [Storm’s] games. I wanted to be able to go watch him play.”
Jipson also coached his daughter, Kaylee, a senior at Edward Little, and guided the Red Eddies to a Class AA North regional championship in 2016.
The 52-year-old Jipson built a winning culture at Edward Little and the Red Eddies have been one of the state’s most successful programs under his tutelage.
“We had tons of talent,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the girls at Edward Little.”
Jipson will continue to coach freshman football at Edward Little in addition to teaching health education at the school.
He may not stay retired from a head coaching job for long.
“In three years, I’ll be back out there somewhere,” Jipson said. “I’ll get back into it when [Storm] goes off to college.”
Prior to coaching at Edward Little, Jipson coached at Oxford Hills of South Paris and at Gray-New Gloucester.
While Jipson plans to be in the stands at a lot of Red Eddies boys games over the next few years, don’t count on seeing him at any golf courses in central Maine over the next few summers.
“I don’t have any other hobbies,” he admitted. “I don’t golf or hunt or fish so I’m going to follow my kids around.”
The Red Eddies went 14-5 this season in Class AA North, losing to Deering of Portland in the semifinals.
Edward Little was young, with seven freshmen and sophomores on its roster, so Jipson expects whomever gets the job will have the Eddies right back in the hunt for championship hardware.
“They’re going to be very good next year,” he said.