Orrington native Jordan Fitzpatrick received an early birthday present on Wednesday.
Fitzpatrick, who has spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Maine softball team, has been promoted to head coach. She will replace Mike Coutts, who had been the head coach since 2016, and inherits a team that went 11-22 during the 2021 season.
She will turn 32 next Wednesday.
Fitzpatrick (nee McLain) was a volunteer assistant at Bangor before being promoted to full-time assistant. She was previously a counselor and director of the UMaine softball summer camps and assisted Don Stanhope at Bangor High School from 2011-15.
She pitched for Brewer High School and then appeared in 55 games at the University of Maine between 2007-10.
“Obviously, being from Maine, I have strong ties here and I can hopefully continue the legacy,” she said of taking over for Coutts. “I’m excited for the girls to get back on campus. It should be a good transition for them because they aren’t getting a coach who is completely new. They know me a little bit. There are going to be some new things but there will also be a lot of similarities.”
Fitzpatrick said since she and Mike Coutts were a two-person coaching staff, she was involved in virtually all aspects of the program, “so nothing will shock or surprise mne.”
Coutts resigned to become the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines. He will be reunited with wife Lynn, who is the deputy athletic director for student-athlete excellence in the University of Denver’s division of athletics and recreation. She had previously been the softball coach at UMaine and Mike assisted her until she was promoted to associate athletic director at UMaine.
He then took over as the head coach.
Lynn Coutts left for Denver in August 2019.
Mike Coutts said Fitzpatrick’s promotion is “awesome.
“She is ready for the position. She has the respect of the players. She has a good relationship with the kids,” he said. “We have a good freshman class this year and another good one next year and she did the bulk of the recruiting.”
“She is going to be fantastic,” UMaine director of athletics Ken Ralph said.
Fitzpatrick, who gave birth to her and husband Devin’s third child last month, daughter Maeve, said she was “excited to get started” and grateful to Mike and Lynn Coutts.
The Fitzpatricks also have a son Beckett and a daughter Abaigeal.