Glenn McNally has thought a lot about becoming a high school basketball coach since he played for Bill McAvoy at Katahdin High School in Stacyville at the turn of the century.
Now he’s getting his chance.
The 36-year-old McNally recently was named the boys varsity basketball coach at Shead High School in Eastport.
“This will be my first shot at coaching, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said McNally, who lives in Calais and works as a crisis counselor with the Aroostook Mental Health Center.
McNally replaces Nic Bradbury, who left the post after two seasons for personal reasons, according to Shead principal Paul Theriault.
Theriault, a former head coach at Shead, will serve as an assistant coach under McNally.
Shead, a school of approximately 80 students, had consecutive winning seasons from 2014 through 2016, finishing a combined 34-20 in regular-season play and earning Class D quarterfinal berths in 2015 and 2016.
But the Tigers have finished under .500 each of the past three years and went 0-17 last winter.
“It’s kind of a rebuilding year or years as I understand it,” McNally said, “which works well for me because I’m getting my feet wet as well.”
McNally is expected to rely on much of what he learned while playing under McAvoy at Katahdin. He joined the school’s varsity team late in his freshman year, and the power forward/center went on to help the Cougars win the 2000 Eastern Maine Class D championship and return to the regional final in 2001.
“One thing Billy always talked to me about at basketball camps and every year getting ready for the seasons was my drive and determination,” McNally said. “Hopefully I can pass that on to these players, to never give up and always push to improve and be the first one down court on offense and the first one back on defense.”
McNally plans to meet his players later this week.
“I’m going into this year being my first year to teach them the game of basketball, that’s the main priority, but also to teach them about the game of life — what can I do to help these kids improve on the court and off the court,” he said.
“I know there are going to be challenges, but I’m excited about it. I’ve always wanted to do this.”