Jenn Plourde wasn’t able to enjoy her ninth season as the head softball coach at Old Town High school. It would have been her last.
The 2020 campaign was wiped out as Maine schools shifted to remote learning and the spring sports season was canceled.
Now, a job change has led the successful coach to step down at Old Town.
Plourde has accepted a job as a physical education teacher at Central High School in Corinth. She has spent the last 10 years in Orono working with special education students as an ed tech.
Plourde, 32, said the logistics and timing of teaching in Corinth would preclude her from being able to perform those responsibilities and also meet the commitments necessary to continue coaching in Old Town.
“With away bus times, it just would have been impossible,” she said, admitting it was hard to give up the softball position.
Plourde has been searching for the right teaching opportunity during the last year or so and said the Central job is a great fit.
“I still don’t know as I’m ready to give it up yet,” she said of coaching at Old Town, “but it’s a decision that I didn’t have to move and it was the next step up [professionally].”
Old Town softball achieved tremendous success during Plourde’s tenure, which began in 2012. The Coyotes compiled a 131-20 overall record (.867) in her eight seasons and won three state championships.
She led Old Town to Class B state titles in 2012, 2016 and 2017.
Plourde, who attended Penobscot Valley High School in Howland, also claimed six Penobscot Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors.
“Girls, thank you for being such amazing young ladies. You have made me a better coach and a better human being,” Plourde wrote to her players. “If you ever need anything, please know I’m still just a text away. I am no longer on the field with you, but I will still be watching you, cheering you on, wishing for the absolute best for you all.”
In addition to her work with Old Town softball, Plourde has for two years served as an assistant softball coach at her alma mater, Husson University in Bangor. The former Eagles basketball and soccer player plans to continue working as their hitting coach.
“After accepting the job I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give up coaching. I had to do it somewhere,” she said. “Now I’ll have my whole spring to continue coaching at Husson.”
Plourde also looks back fondly on her five years as the coach of Orono’s Unified basketball program. That experience opened her eyes to new opportunities for learning and development.
“It’s a great program,” she said. “I really hope that a lot of schools adopt it and try to have a team. It’s probably one of the best sports I’ve coached and just really shows the sportsmanship and a true love for the game.”