Deshon Gaither has been named the new men’s basketball coach at Thomas College in Waterville.
Gaither served as an assistant under head coach Joe Scheuers’ last season, helping lead the Terriers to a 12-12 regular-season record and 9-5 North Atlantic Conference mark. Scheuers stepped down last month to become the head coach at Earlham College in Indiana.
Thomas, which earned the No. 4 seed in the NAC tournament, defeated No. 5 Maine Maritime Academy of Castine in the quarterfinals and upset top-seeded UMaine-Farmington in the semifinals before falling to Husson University of Bangor in the championship game.
“What coach Scheuers wanted to do, and he spoke about it, was to go to a championship game and it took awhile for the guys to see his vision, but they bought in and it worked itself out,” Gaither said.
“I just want to build on what we did last year and build a program, not just a basketball team.”
Only one player graduated from last winter’s Thomas team.
“All the main pieces are coming back,” Gaither said.
Before going to Thomas, the 45-year-old Gaither was an assistant coach for the University of Maine men’s basketball team during 2013-14 and previously coached for three seasons with the Lee Academy postgraduate program. He was the head coach for two seasons, compiling a 52-17 record, and placed more than 20 players in college programs.
Before moving back to the Northeast, Gaither was an assistant coach with the Oita Heat Devils of the Basketball Japan League during the 2009-10 season, and from 2005 to 2008, he was an assistant coach for Maine Basketball Hall of Famer Max Good at Bryant College in Rhode Island.
Other stops for coach Gaither include the American Basketball Association’s Carolina Thunder and the Ontario Professional Basketball Association’s Guelph Gladiators.
Gaither also coached at Barat College, Ashford University and Marycrest International University in the early years of his career.
He has served as a coach and club adviser for Black Bear North AAU since 2010 and has coached at numerous camps across the country.
Gaither, a native of South Bend, Indiana, graduated from Ashford University in 1998.