The game of basketball has been, and always will be, in the blood of Meg Cressler.
Cressler, who had a stellar hoop career at Camden-Rockport High School and the University of Southern Maine, recently stepped down from her coaching post at Belfast Area High School.
Cressler, who lives in Hope and works for Jaret and Cohen Real Estate in Camden, cited the daily round-trip from Hope to Belfast and the fact she needed a change as reasons for her resignation.
“It was a good fit for three years, I decided I needed a change of pace,” she said.
Cressler coached the Lions for three seasons, leading them into the Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinals in 2007 and 2008. Belfast finished the 2009 season with a 7-11 record, just missing the preliminary round.
The Lions, ranked No. 11 in Eastern B in 2008, upset sixth-ranked Hermon to reach the Bangor Auditorium before falling to Mattanawcook Academy in the quarterfinals.
Belfast’s best year under Cressler was 2006-07, in which the Lions went into the quarterfinals with the No. 5 seed after a 12-6 regular campaign.
Belfast will graduate four seniors from this year’s club, including three starters.
Cressler enjoyed working with them.
“This last group, they had been sophomores when I came to Belfast so it’s a really wonderful experience to watch them come through the program,” she said.
“The Belfast administration was great,” Cressler added.
She’s hopeful that the program can get that illusive first tournament win at the Bangor Auditorium at some point in the near future.
“Belfast has never won one at Bangor so that was one of the goals on my agenda from day one,” Cressler said. “It didn’t happen when I was there [but] it was certainly nice to make appearances there for those years.”
Cressler graduated from Camden-Rockport in 2000, leading coach Jay Carlsen’s Windjammers to the Class B state championship as a senior.
She earned Eastern Maine tournament MVP honors in addition to being a BDN All-Maine first-teamer that season.
Camden defeated Gorham 60-51 in the state-title game in 2000.
Prior to earning her degree in communications from USM in 2004, Cressler helped lead coach Gary Fifield’s Huskies to Little East conference titles and NCAA Division III tournament appearances all four years of college.
Prior to coaching at Belfast, Cressler coached girls basketball at the Lincolnville Central School for two seasons
Belfast is currently advertising for Cressler’s replacement.
Interested applicants should apply for the position no later than May 1st, and Belfast is looking for individuals with basketball coaching experience.
Applications may be sent to SAD 34, P.O. Box 363, Belfast, ME 04915.