Then-Central head coach Diane Rollins cheers on her team during a 2019 basketball game against John Bapst in Bangor. Rollins is now the head coach of the Piscataquis Community High School girl's basketball team. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

First-year Piscataquis Community High School of Guilford girls basketball coach Diane Rollins admits that coaching is in her blood.

She stepped down as the head girls basketball coach at Central High School in Corinth following the 2016-17 season, in which she guided the team to a 13-5 record and a berth in the Class B North quarterfinals.

It was her 16th year as the coach of the Red Devils. She had left the Central field hockey job the previous year after a 27-year run.

It only took five years for Rollins to realize that she missed coaching, so when Brian Gaw stepped down as the head coach at PCHS after 17 seasons she put herself in the running and landed the job.

“I missed coaching. I realized how big a part of my life it was,” said the 58-year-old Rollins, who is the office manager at Central.

“I’m very excited. Our girls are doing well. I’m having a good time. I’m very happy to be back in coaching.”

The thing she missed most was the kids.

“They keep you young and involved. If you work at it hard enough, the kids can find success,” she said. “I missed everything about it.”

 Rollins was a highly successful coach at Central, leading the 2011-12 team to the Class C state championship with a 40-39 win over Hall-Dale in which Central erased a 13-point second half deficit.

The previous year, she piloted the Red Devils to an 18-0 regular season only to lose to eventual Class C North champ Washington Academy of East Machias in the semifinals.

She led nine Central teams to at least 12 regular season wins, including five with 15 or more.

Her Central field hockey teams won consecutive Class C state titles in 2005 and 2006.

PCHS went 9-9 during the regular season in 2019-20 and was the 10th seed before losing to No. 7 Narraguagus of Harrington in the preliminary round.

Gaw led PCHS to at least one tournament win for six straight seasons until the 2018-19 season when the Pirates failed to qualify for the tournament.

“Coach Gaw did a good job with them,” said Rollins, who added that she has been “pleasantly surprised” by her team.

“We have talent. I think we’re going to surprise some people.”