BANGOR, Maine — Brad Libby is a successful area businessman. The licensed physical therapist owns Performance Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation locations in Bangor and Brewer.
Last winter, to make sure his business was running smoothly, he stepped away from basketball and his role as an assistant coach under Warren Caruso at his alma mater, Husson University.
That time away convinced Libby that he needed basketball in his life.
Libby will be back in the game next season after he was approved as the boys varsity basketball coach at Bangor High School during Wednesday night’s Bangor School Committee.
“I’ve always been working towards that head coaching level and I’m super excited for this opportunity to go to Bangor and continuing their tradition of basketball and the success that they’ve had,” Libby said.
“He’s going to be terrific,” said Bangor High School Principal Paul Butler.
“(Athletic director) Steve (Vanidestine) and I are really optimistic, have a lot of confidence in Brad. He’s the right guy,” Butler added.
Butler said Bangor had a healthy applicant pool in the search to replace veteran coach Carl Parker, who resigned on Feb. 13 in the wake of his arrest for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants.
Butler said Bangor interviewed seven or eight candidates, including some out-of-state applicants.
“It drew interest from near and far and we’re pleased that we came up with such a high-caliber person to coach our boys basketball team,” Butler said.
Basketball has been a constant for Libby, who turns 29 on Saturday. He played at Brewer under coach Mark Reed and then competed at Husson for four seasons. He then spent five years as an assistant coach before stepping away last winter.
“It was tough being in the stands last year rather than on the sideline,” said Libby, who graduated from Brewer in 2007, earned his undergraduate degree at Husson in 2011, then received his doctorate in physical therapy there in 2013.
“Coach (Caruso) and I talked daily about basketball things, but not being able to be in the day-to-day activities of basketball and seeing the progression of the team and the individual players, and having a little bit of a say about what’s going on on the floor, it ate away at me.”
With his business on strong footing and the opportunity to take over such a storied program, Libby knew he needed to get back in the game.
Libby said he has been blessed with outstanding coaching mentors in basketball, including former Brewer JV coach Tim Thornton.
However, it was during his time on the bench at Husson that Libby began to master some of the intricacies of the coaching game.
“He has done a tremendous job in life and on the basketball front, so he’s well-prepared for this opportunity,” said Caruso, who was grooming Libby as the Eagles’ associate head coach.
“He’s worked toward building success on the basketball court and he’s of the highest character and integrity as an individual as well,” he added. “I think he’ll have a great impact on the young people playing for him at Bangor.”
The feeling is mutual.
“He’s (Caruso) had a huge impact as far as my coaching career and developing me as a coach,” said Libby, who appreciated being brought along and given more responsibility as time went on.
Libby also praised Reed for his knowledge of X’s and O’s and the way he helped him prepare to be able to play at the college level.
Moving forward, Libby is excited about starting his duties at Bangor. The Rams finished last season 9-10, bowing out with a 78-62 quarterfinal loss at Windham.
“They’re a great group of kids. They love hanging out together, so chemistry-wise, they’re already there. They’re hard workers and they’re going to be a fun group to work with,” Libby said.
“I’m ready to get going.”
Follow BDN Maine Sports on Facebook for the latest in Maine high school and college sports.