HOULTON, Maine — Rob Moran, who guided the Houlton boys basketball team to the 2014 Class C state championship, has resigned as the Shiretowners’ head coach after four seasons.
He cited work responsibilities for his decision.
Two years ago, Moran was named executive director of Community Living Association, a Houlton-based nonprofit agency with more than 250 employees that serves adults with developmental disabilities.
“I had a hard time with this decision,” he said. “The [Houlton coaching post] is a job I wanted for a long time, but my full-time job is pretty involved, and I just felt like it was time to let somebody else take the reins.
“I really thought long and hard about getting done last year but kind of got talked back into it by some of the kids, so that’s why I stayed another year,” he said.
Moran, who previously coached boys’ varsity teams at East Grand of Danforth for one season and at Hodgdon for seven years, was hired by Houlton in 2011 after a stint as the middle-school boys basketball coach in that system.
He went on to guide a team anchored by 2015 Mr. Maine Basketball Kyle Bouchard to a 68-17 record over four seasons, with two trips to the Eastern Maine Class C championship game preceding Houlton’s undefeated run to its first state championship since 2004.
The Shiretowners went 8-10 during the 2011-12 regular season, then upset No. 2 Sumner of East Sullivan in the quarterfinals and edged Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln in the semifinals on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by sophomore point guard Nick Guiod before falling to Lee Academy in the Eastern Maine final.
The next year Houlton finished atop the final Heal points standings at 17-1 and returned to the regional final before falling to eventual state champion Penquis Valley of Milo.
The 2014 season belonged to the Shiretowners, their 22-0 season capped off by a 58-56 overtime victory over Waynflete of Portland in the state championship game.
“It was an amazing season, definitely one of the best experiences of my life,” said Moran.
Moran cited his players’ hard work as pivotal to that three-year championship pursuit, as well as Houlton’s 16-4 season this winter that concluded with a loss to Orono in the Eastern Maine semifinals.
“We played at least 25 games each summer, and the first full summer I had them we played 40 games,” Moran said. “The kids were willing to put the time in and do what it took to get to that level.”
The 47-year-old Moran, whose first coaching job was as an eighth-grader with current WHOU-FM sports director Ken Holck leading a Houlton Recreation Department peewee all-star team, likely will remain close to the sport, either through broadcasting games with Holck or perhaps coaching in a lower-profile scenario.
“I’m not saying I never want to coach again, but I think what I’d like to do is help somebody, be a volunteer assistant,” he said.