Presque Isle coach Jeff Hudson coaches in the girls Class B North semifinal game at the Cross Insurance Center on Feb. 23, 2022. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Jeff Hudson, who won nearly 79 percent of his games in 28 seasons as a high-school girls basketball coach, has stepped down after 23 years at Presque Isle High School.

He began his career at Limestone High School, where he spent his first five seasons as head coach. In his time in Presque Isle, he compiled a 361-102 record and led his team to six regional championship game appearances, four regional titles (2006, 2012, 2013, 2015) and three Class B state championships (2006, 2012 and 2013).

“I need a mental break more than anything,” said the 56-year-old Hudson. “I don’t have any plans. I’m just going to enjoy some time off.”

Hudson, who will continue teaching math at Presque Isle High, and wife Lori, a special education teacher at Zippel Elementary School in Presque Isle, have four children, daughters Moriah and Olivia and sons Eric and Jonah. The Hudsons also have two grandchildren who live with Moriah and her husband in Germany. He is hoping to spend more time with his family.

Hudson said coaching at Presque Isle has been a joy the last 23 years.

“It was great. Between the kids, the administration and the parents, it is a very special place. I’m lucky to have coached there,” said Hudson, who played basketball at Presque Isle High.

He coached both of his daughters. Moriah played on the 2006 state championship team and Olivia played on the 2015 Class B North title-winning team.

“I’ve been so lucky to have had so many great players and great kids. There aren’t too many coaches who have been able to coach seven, 1,000-point scorers,” Hudson said.

Presque Isle High School athletic director Mark White said in addition to all the championships, what impressed him most about Hudson is how long he coached and the fact he spent “so much time with other people’s kids, saying he was “easy to work with” and coached with class.

“He coached every kid on his team, whether it was his very best player or a kid coming off the bench. He put every bit as much time and effort into his second five players as he did his first five,” White said.

White added that Hudson left the program “in good shape.” He will begin the process of finding a replacement soon. Hudson did not rule out a return to the sidelines.

“Never say never,” he said.