The Maine Basketball Hall of Fame ranks will swell by 17 this year after Wednesday’s announcement of the 2020 class of inductees.
Lynn Bay, Sharon Bay, Andy Bedard, Arnold “Arnie” Clark, T.J. Caouette, Heidi Deery, Tony DiBiase, Gerry Duffy, Phil Faulkner, Ed Feeney, David Halligan, Elizabeth “Biz” Houghton, Gavin Kane, Ken Lynch, Chris Sawyer, Amy Vachon and Richard “Dickie” Whitmore Jr. have been selected for induction into the hall next summer.
Clark and Duffy will be inducted posthumously.
In the Legends category, Bryce Beattie, Ray Bicknell, Al Card (posthumous), Peter Gribbin, Jim Poulin, Steve Shaw, Mike Thurston were chosen for inclusion. The hall also will honor the 1987 Morse High School boys team.
Here’s a look at this year’s honorees:
Clark coached at Calais and Woodland for a combined 32 years and guided his squads to more than 400 victories. In 14 years as the boys coach at Calais, he led the Blue Devils to two Eastern Maine Class C championships. Then he guided the girls team at neighboring Woodland to five Class D state titles over 16 years. Clark also played at Calais and at the University of Maine at Machias, where he averaged 30 points and 18 rebounds as a sophomore. He died in August 2018.
Duffy coached for more than three decades at Caribou High School. His reputation in Aroostook County is legendary. He coached several sports and selflessly shared his knowledge with other coaches. Duffy played semi-pro baseball and basketball and compiled a sparkling 373-151 record in 31 years of coaching basketball (.712 winning percentage). His Caribou teams made seven trips to the regional finals, winning three Eastern Maine championships and one gold ball in 1969 — with the help of Mike Thurston’s “Hail Mary” shot. Duffy was inducted into the New Brunswick Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. He died in 2007.
Faulkner, a native of Island Falls, has coached for more than 50 years at all levels of high school basketball. He played basketball for Bridgewater Academy and starred at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where he is a member of the Owls Hall of Fame. Faulkner became a physical education teacher and served as a northern Maine athletics director for 40 years while coaching basketball, soccer, and baseball. At Island Falls and Katahdin High School in Stacyville, Faulkner’s teams amassed more than 400 wins and two gold balls, in 1977 and 1985.
Vachon coaches the University of Maine’s women’s basketball team. As a player at UMaine, she was a two-time captain and led the Black Bears to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and an 87-35 record. Prior to joining the UMaine staff, Vachon guided Catherine McAuley High School to the 2011 Class A state championship. Vachon played at Cony High School for her father, Hall of Famer Paul Vachon. She was a four-time All-Maine standout and a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year. She played on two state championship teams and was Miss Basketball in 1986. She was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Whitmore was a key player on Waterville’s successful teams in the 1980s, which culminated in a 1985 Class A state championship. The two-time All-Maine choice went on to Brown University, where he was a three-year letterwinner. Injuries cut short his playing career at Brown but he joins his father, Dick, and brother, Kevin, in the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame, a family feat unmatched in Maine basketball.
Lynn Bay led Portland to unparalleled success in the late ’80s under coach Ed Feeney. The two-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine first-team selection (1985-1986) was chosen to the all-tourney and All-Southwestern Maine Activities Association teams. The 5-foot-10 Bay was a four-year starter at Boston University.
Sharon Bay, Lynn’s younger sister, was a 1989 All-Maine first-team pick at Portland High School, which defeated Cony for the 1988 Class A state crown but lost to the Rams by two points in the ’89 title game. The all-tourney and all-SMAA pick had a stellar career at the University of Vermont, where she graduated ranked fifth in career scoring (1,252 points) and was second in rebounds and blocked shots. Bay was a two-time all-conference choice and in 2003 was inducted into the University of Vermont Hall of Fame.
Bedard was a two-time BDN All-Maine honoree who scored a tournament-record 53 points in Mountain Valley High School’s 1994 state championship win over Camden-Rockport. The Rumford native played for the Maine Central Institute postgrads and attended Boston College for two seasons. He then played two seasons at the University of Maine, where he led it to a school-record 24 victories during 1999-2000 and was a first-team America East pick and a two-team All-New England selection. Bedard, who played pro ball in Europe, was inducted into the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Caouette led Winthrop High School to a gold ball in 1993. The 6-7 phenom was unstoppable throughout his high school career and was a three-time first-team All-Maine selection (1994-1996) and was named Mr. Basketball in 1996. He was one of Maine’s most heavily recruited players and ultimately accepted a full scholarship to Villanova University, where he was a key player for the Wildcats and graduated with honors in 2000.
Deery is the only coach to win a state title as a player (1984) and as a coach (1993, 2004, 2016) at the same school — Rangeley Lakes Regional High School. In her 26 years as a coach, Deery has won more than 400 games and has an .860 win percentage. Her teams, which also won regional titles in 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2015 and 2016, are known for their discipline and tenacious defense. Deery, Rangeley’s athletic administrator, was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
DiBiase was an All-Maine, all-tourney and All-SMAA player for the Westbrook Blue Blazes in 1972. The UMaine graduate’s coaching career took him to Machias, Noble, Gorham, Portland, South Portland, Gray-New Gloucester and Scarborough high schools and St. Joseph’s College. DiBiase has coached in nine Western Maine finals and won four gold balls, including the 1992 five-overtime win against Bangor. He has amassed more than 500 career wins.
Feeney led one of the greatest dynasties in Maine girls basketball at Portland High School. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Bulldogs advanced to the state title game 11 times in a span of 15 years and won three gold balls (1984, ’85, ’88). Feeney, whose teams won 415 games, was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Halligan is quickly approaching the record for career wins held by Dick Barstow. He recently won his 526th game at his alma mater, Falmouth High School. He has coached soccer for 34 years and has a total of 1,000 combined wins. Halligan’s teams have won 11 Western Maine championships and six state titles with an overall winning percentage of .796. He played soccer, basketball and baseball for Falmouth and played soccer and basketball at the University of Southern Maine. He continues to coach and teach in Falmouth.
Houghton was a dominant player for Cape Elizabeth. The 6-1 center was a BDN All-Maine first-teamer in 1981 and played four years at Boston College, averaging nine rebounds during 1982-1983. The 1984 squad went 19-9, a school record at the time. Houghton, who played professionally in Ireland, plays and coaches in a league for women over 50.
Kane’s high school coaching career includes 17 conference championships, 12 Western Maine crowns, seven state titles and 522 victories. He started his career at Rangeley and won his first gold ball in 1989. He spent two years at University of Maine at Farmington assisting Dick Meader, then took over the Dirigo High School girls. Over the next 13 years, he led them to a 263-17 record, six state championships and a record 11 straight WM crowns. The New England Basketball Hall of Famer now coaches the women’s team at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
Lynch was the backcourt mate of Brett Brown’s on the South Portland High School’s legendary 1979 basketball team. The 1979 All-Maine first-team pick helped his team go 21-0 and win the gold ball. He was named the Vinal Trophy winner emblematic of the MVP of the Western Maine tournament. Lynch played at Bowdoin College and was a four-year starter and captain.
Sawyer was one of the greatest players ever from South Portland high school. The 6-3 guard scored more than 1,000 points and was a first-team All-Maine honoree in 1989. Sawyer was an all-tourney and All-SMAA choice in his junior and senior seasons. He played at Bentley College and was a three-year starter who scored 1,200 points and shot nearly 44 percent from the floor.
Jim Poulin was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995 and kept coaching at Winslow High School until 2004, after 30 years of mentoring and coaching youth. He coached football, boys and girls basketball, and track and field at Winslow. Poulin is an inspiration to all sports fans in central Maine.
Steve Shaw spent more than 50 years at Easton High School as teacher, coach and athletic director. A great high school player, Shaw continued to play into his 70s. He coached at Easton for 15 years and his teams made 13 tournament appearances, winning a regional crown in 1980. Shaw also coached Central Aroostook High to a state championship in 1994.
Mike Thurston is best known for his epic 64-foot shot in the 1969 state championship game against Westbrook that gave Caribou High School its first gold ball. He was an All-Maine honoree his senior season. Following college, Thurston picked up a whistle and over the next 30 years became one of the best officials in Maine history.
Bryce Beattie has coached in New Hampshire and Maine and accumulated more than 400 wins at George Stevens, Freeport, Windham and Noble high schools. At Freeport, his teams won state championships in 1964, ’66 and ’69 with an uptempo style predicated on full-court pressure.
Ray Bicknell is a legendary figure at Bowdoin College, where he recorded more than 200 wins in 23 years with the men’s basketball team. He was named Maine Coach of the Year four times and won the New England Basketball Coaches Association’s Alvin “Doggie” Julian Award in 1977 for outstanding contributions to college basketball in New England. He is in the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Fame, the Institute for International Sport Hall of Fame, and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Al Card officiated basketball in Maine for 30 years and left a legacy of excellence. The South Paris native excelled in football, basketball, and baseball at Paris High and attended Maine Central Institute as a postgrad. At UMaine, Card played football and baseball. He taught physical education and coached at Cony High School for 27 years. He was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, the MCI Hall of Fame, Maine Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Kennebec Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Maine Principals’ Association Hall of Excellence. Card died in 2018.
Peter Gribbin graduated from Portland High School in 1957 and has been a perennial fixture in southern Maine basketball circles. For nearly 50 years, Gribbin has been known as “the official” public address announcer for Portland High School basketball and the MPA tournaments. Gribbin graduated from Bowdoin College in 1961.
The 1987 Morse High School boys team won the first of three straight state championships from 1987 to 1989. The ’87 squad went undefeated with an average winning margin of more than 25 points during the regular season. Coached by Hall of Famer Tom Maines, the Shipbuilders were deep and 10 players from the team went on to play in college. Among them John Conley, Joe Cawley, Tom Dorion, Matt Skillings and Derrick Hodge. The Shipbuilders defeated Lawrence 69-62 for their first of three consecutive gold balls.