Bill McVicar was the assistant coach for the girls basketball team at Calais High School where his daughters Alex and Maddy helped lead the Blue Devils to Class C state championships in 2010 and 2014, respectively.
Now he will try to do the same with youngest daughter Sophie — only this time he will be the head coach.
McVicar replaces Arnie Clark, 73, who retired after being forced to miss some games at the end of last season because of a back ailment. Clark, who had an injection that has significantly improved his back, felt it was time to retire.
“It’s time for somebody else to take over. They should have a very good basketball team this year,” said Clark, who grew up in nearby Milltown and attended Calais High School.
McVicar has considerable coaching experience in Calais. He was an assistant under Dana Redding for several years and also coach at the youth and middle school levels.
He was the Calais girls middle school coach two years ago but took last year off from coaching and watched his freshman daughter Sophie help lead the 11th-seeded Blue Devils to a pair of upset postseason wins before losing to No. 2 Dexter in the Class C North semifinals.
“I talked with my family and thought this might be an opportunity (to be the Calais head coach) because of my familiarity with this group of kids,” the 54-year-old McVicar said.
He coached the current high school players in the Calais recreation program and in middle school. He inherits a youthful team that last year included four freshmen and three sophomores.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said McVicar, who owns three FM radio stations in Washington County (WQDY-92.7 in Calais, WALZ 95.3 in Machias and WCRQ 102.9 in Dennysville). He also has worked as a sportscaster.
“I’m looking to improve defensively,” said McVicar, whose daughter Maddy plays for the University of Maine. “I’ve always believed good defense beats good offense.”
Clark is confident McVicar will do a good job.
“He understands the game,” said Clark, who coached the Calais girls for two seasons after leading the Calais boys to two Eastern Maine championships and the Woodland girls to five state championships and six regional titles. “He’s personable and will get along with the kids and they will respond to him.”
McVicar, one of three applicants for the position, will be the third head coach in four years as Clark replaced Bob McShane two years ago.
“I wanted the kids to have a coach they know,” Calais athletic director Randy Morrison said.
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