Maine Basketball Hall of Fame rescinds induction of former Jonesport-Beals coach

Posted Aug. 21, 2014, at 2:48 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 22, 2014, at 1:32 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — As many of the most notable people in the state’s basketball community converged on the Cross Insurance Center for the inaugural induction ceremony for the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon, much of the surrounding conversation involved who wouldn’t be there.

Longtime former Jonesport-Beals High School coach Ordman “Ordie” Alley, whose name was announced among this year’s inductees in late March, is no longer on that list — nor is he still a member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, to which he was inducted in 2003.

Officials for both organizations offered no explanations for why Alley’s name was removed. A check of court records dating back 10 years showed Alley has not been convicted of any crimes.

The Maine Basketball Hall of Fame’s board of directors rescinded Alley’s planned induction in mid-April, according to the board’s chair, Steve Pound.

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“For me, today is about honoring the first inductees to the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame,” said Pound, who is a member of this year’s induction class. “I’m very pleased to be able to honor these people and the contributions they have made to basketball in the state of Maine.

“[Alley] is not being recognized at this time,” he said.

Dick Whitmore, the former Colby College coach who serves as president of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and also was slated for induction into the state’s new basketball hall, offered no comment regarding Alley’s ouster from the Maine Sports Hall of Fame ranks.

Whitmore did confirm that the sports hall’s action to end Alley’s recognition came in June during a meeting of an executive committee of that organization’s board of directors.

The 72-year-old Alley was at work late Thursday morning and not immediately available for comment.

A graduate of Beals High School and Washington State Teachers College — now the University of Maine at Machias — Alley began teaching and coaching in Southwest Harbor in 1965 before returning home the next year to coach at Beals High School.

After three years, the Beals and Jonesport high schools merged into Jonesport-Beals, where Alley led the Royals to nine state championships and 13 Eastern Maine titles while amassing more than 550 victories during his 39-year high school coaching career.

In its second year as a combined school in 1970, Jonesport-Beals won the consolidated school’s first of five consecutive state championships, etching the program from the small lobster-fishing communities into state basketball prominence.

Jonesport-Beals won additional state championships under Alley in 1977, 1983, 1985 and 1993, with additional Eastern Maine titles in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1993, 1998 and 1999.

Alley guided 37 of his 39 teams to postseason berths, and so much was Jonesport-Beals a fixture at the Bangor Auditorium come tournament time, that fans entering the building when the Royals were playing were greeted by a sign hung along the first-balcony railing — “Welcome to the Ordie-torium.”

He was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, then retired from coaching in 2005.

Alley was inducted into the University of Maine at Machias Clipper Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

Alley is the second inductee to be removed from the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in as many years.

Former college basketball star Dana Wilson of Brewer, a 2012 selection, was taken off the organization’s honor roll in May 2013 after being found guilty of possession of child pornography.

At the time, Whitmore said there was nothing specific in the nonprofit organization’s bylaws to address that type of situation.

“The Maine Sports Hall of Fame takes great pride in formally honoring and memorializing Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and specialty to the state of Maine,” he said in a press release announcing the revocation of Wilson’s induction.

 

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