Dillon Kingsbury will be a sophomore at the University of Maine-Presque Isle this fall, continuing to study toward his goal of teaching physical education and coaching sports.
But there’s nothing like practical experience, and the 19-year-old Kingsbury will get plenty of it during the coming academic year.
Already hired as an assistant girls varsity soccer coach this fall at Presque Isle High School — his alma mater — Kingsbury this week was named the new boys varsity basketball coach at Easton High School.
“I didn’t think I’d be coaching (a varsity team) this soon,” said Kingsbury, a 2010 PIHS graduate. “But basketball is a sport I love, I started coaching and found I liked it a lot, and now I’ve caught a break and am looking forward to this opportunity.”
Kingsbury replaces Travis Carter, who stepped down this spring after five seasons at the varsity level in Easton. Carter guided the Bears to a 55-40 record and four postseason berths, including a trip to the Eastern Maine Class D quarterfinals at the Bangor Auditorium in 2008.
Easton went 11-8 last winter and advanced to the Eastern D preliminary round before dropping a 53-45 decision to Deer Isle-Stonington.
“I’m really looking forward to this season,” said Kingsbury. “I caught a few of Easton’s games last winter when I was coaching in Washburn, and they have a lot of athletic 6-1 and 6-2 kids who looked to be pretty good players.”
Kingsbury began coaching on a volunteer basis during his senior year at Presque Isle High, where he played basketball for former Wildcats’ head coach Tim Prescott and also starred in soccer and baseball.
“When I started volunteer coaching a travel league team my senior year, the coach of the team came up to me and asked me if this was something I wanted to do, that I had a knack for it,” he said. “I hadn’t really thought about it much before that, but I really enjoyed it.”
Kingsbury went on to coach middle school basketball in the SAD 45 (Washburn) school system and also was a volunteer coach for an AAU girls basketball team last winter.
Kingsbury likely will be only a year or two older than some of his Easton players this winter, but doesn’t see that as an issue.
“No matter if you’re 35 or 25 or 20, you’re the coach and they’re the players,” he said. “You just have to establish that bottom line from day one.”