Jason Coleman has great passion for coaching basketball no matter the level of competition.
But family matters come first for the former Orono High School coach, who has stepped down from his most recent basketball post as director of basketball operations at the University of Maine.
Coleman’s reasons were twofold.
His business, Jersey Subs and Sweets, recently expanded from its initial site at 25 Hammond St., Bangor, to a second location at 601 Stillwater Ave. in Old Town. The grand opening for the Old Town sandwich shop was held July 19.
And his wife Kylie is expecting their third child next January — during the heart of the college basketball season.
“For me it was a question of how fair it would be to her in January when I leave for three or four nights at a time for her to have three kids under the age of 8 and two businesses to look after by herself while I’m out in hotel rooms traveling with the team,” Coleman said.
Coleman joined head coach Richard Barron’s staff at UMaine in March 2018. His duties as director of basketball operations included the coordination of on-campus recruiting efforts and the team’s summer camps.
“I loved every second of it,” Coleman said. “It was the best basketball experience I’ve ever had and I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but with the timing right now it was best to step away and be a fan for a little bit.”
Coleman is optimistic that next winter’s UMaine men’s basketball team will show marked improvement over last winter’s 5-27 record during Barron’s first season at the helm.
“I think people are going to be surprised when they see the team next year because a lot of people don’t realize we had four redshirts sitting out last year that practiced every day with us,” he said. “A couple of those kids are going to start this year, plus there’s a really good recruiting class coming in.”
Before joining the UMaine staff, Coleman had coached basketball and football at the collegiate, high school, AAU and middle-school levels since 2005.
Coleman guided the Orono High School boys basketball team to three regional championship games in seven seasons as the Red Riots’ head coach and led AAU teams from Maine to three state championships after also coaching AAU teams in Indiana and South Carolina to multiple state titles.
Coleman will return to the football sidelines this fall as offensive coordinator at Old Town High School under head coach Lance Cowan. Coleman served in the same capacity for the Coyotes in 2015 when Old Town averaged 38.5 points per game during an 8-0 regular season and reached the Class C North championship game with a lineup that featured current UMaine wide receiver Andre Miller.
He also hopes for an eventual return to the basketball bench..
“If something opened in the area at the high school level I’d be extremely interested because it was the travel part [of the UMaine job] that got me,” Coleman said. “It wasn’t the practices or the daily routine, but being on the road during the season and knowing I’d be leaving my wife by herself with a newborn, a 7-year-old, a 3-year-old and two businesses.”