SKOWHEGAN, Maine — Skowhegan Area High School is reaching back to one of its greatest teams in an effort to rebuild its boys basketball program.

Tom Nadeau, a key player on the Indians’ 1998 Class A state championship squad, has been approved as the school’s new boys varsity basketball coach, according to Skowhegan athletic administrator Don Finley.

Nadeau replaces Dave Simpson, who stepped down after last season.

“We’re fortunate because we’re at the point where we need to rebuild the entire program, and Tom is a hard worker who has a passion to rebuild it,” said Finley.

After graduating from Skowhegan Nadeau went on to play college basketball at the University of Maine at Farmington, then began his coaching career as an assistant at Thornton Academy of Saco.

Since then his resume has included stints as boys varsity basketball coach at Hall-Dale of Hallowell and girls varsity basketball coach at Winslow, where he compiled a 76-40 record over six years before he resigned after the 2012 season.

Nadeau, who teaches at the Vassalboro Community School, spent last winter as an assistant boys basketball coach at Lawrence of Fairfield.

Simpson, a longtime assistant coach at Mt. Blue of Farmington before taking the Skowhegan job three years ago, fielded some of the youngest teams in the KVAC during his tenure. Last year’s squad, which finished with a 2-16 record, had four sophomores and two freshmen on its 11-player roster.

Skowhegan last had a winning regular season in 2008.

Finley also said Skowhegan expects to fill its girls’ varsity basketball coaching vacancy later this month.

Heath Cowan resigned earlier this year after coaching the Skowhegan girls for nine seasons. He compiled a 132-51 record with the Indians, winning the 2010 Eastern Maine Class A championship and earning additional trips to the regional final in 2005, 2006 and 2009.

Cony set to tap Thomas staff

Cony High School of Augusta is about to dip into the collegiate ranks to fill its boys and girls varsity basketball coaching vacancies.

According to the agenda for Wednesday night’s Augusta Board of Education meeting, T.J. Maines and Ted Rioux — currently the men’s and women’s basketball head coaches at Thomas College in Waterville — will be nominated to fill the posts.

Maines would replace Tim Bonsant, who stepped down in March after compiling a 43-49 record in five seasons as the Cony boys’ varsity coach. Rioux would replace Karen Magnusson, whose teams went 74-37 over the past five seasons. Magnusson is expecting her first child in August.

Maines, the son of longtime Maine high school basketball coach Tom Maines, led Thomas to an 89-88 record over his seven years with the Terriers, with winning records each of the past five seasons.

The former Colby College player, who before taking the Thomas job served as an assistant coach at his alma mater for seven years under head coach Dick Whitmore, was named North Atlantic Conference coach of the year in 2009.

Maines lives in Waterville and is an eighth-grade social studies teacher in the Augusta school system.

For Rioux the Cony job would mark a return to the high school ranks.

He became head coach of the Thomas women’s basketball team after coaching girls varsity basketball at Belfast and Waterville high schools.

Rioux coached at Belfast from 2001 to 2006, leading the Lions to a 62-38 record and five straight tournament appearances. In 2004 he guided Belfast to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship.

He then moved to Waterville, where he led the Purple Panthers to three straight Class B state championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009 as well as three straight KVAC Class B titles. Waterville had a 69-game winning streak during his tenure, and he finished with an 84-23 overall record at the school, including 13-1 during tournament play.

Rioux has been the Thomas head coach for the last two years, compiling a 12-38 record.

Rioux resides in Winslow and teaches at Waterville Senior High School.

FA’s Ayala earns coaching honor

Luis Ayala of Foxcroft Academy has been named the 2013 Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance high school wrestling coach of the year.

Ayala guided the Ponies to their third consecutive Class C state championship last winter, with the Ponies winning five individual state titles and securing 11 top-four finishes among the 14 weight classes at the state meet to amass 199.5 points and outdistance runner-up Dirigo of Dixfield (158.5).

Among the team’s individual state champions was Ayala’s son, freshman Antonio Ayala at 113 pounds.

Luis Ayala has now guided Foxcroft to five state championships during his 12 years as head coach.

He will be honored by the MAWA during its annual Hall of Fame induction banquet scheduled for August 1 at the Hyde School in Bath.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...