The last time Maureen Barron was the head coach of a softball team, it was when she was at Princeton University 15 years ago.
But now she will be leading her twin daughters, Lane and Rae, into their senior seasons at Bangor High School as Bangor’s first-year head coach.
“This completes my cycle as a head coach. I had coached at all different levels except high school,” said Barron, whose Rams and other softball and baseball teams began their seasons this past week.
Barron has an extensive college coaching background that includes four Ivy League championships and NCAA Tournament berths as the head coach at Princeton (2002, ’03, ’05 and ’06). She is replacing Don Stanhope, who posted a 175-81 regular season record during his 16 seasons at Bangor but stepped down so he and his wife could move to southern Maine to be closer to their two children.
“I’m very excited. It’s special. Now we just need the weather to cooperate,” said Barron, the wife of former UMaine women’s and men’s basketball coach Richard Barron.
She is looking forward to coaching her daughters, who will both play softball at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania next year.
“It’s their senior year and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Barron said.
The Rams went 7-9 a year ago and finished eighth in the Class A North Heal Point standings while playing a grueling stretch of 11 games in 13 days due to postponements that created a backlog.
But they rattled off playoff wins over No. 9 Hampden Academy (5-3), top seed Messalonskee of Oakland (4-3) and No. 4 Brunswick (8-3) before losing to second seed and eventual state champion Skowhegan 9-4 in the North final.
It was Bangor’s first trip to a regional final since 2015. The team last won an A North title in 2010.
“We have a good group returning. We have seven players back,” Barron said. “We have some good athletes. We have speed and should have good pitching. And I think we’ll be strong at the plate as well. Hopefully, we’ll have some newcomers who will be able to come in and help us. We have some holes to fill.”
Her daughter Lane will pitch and Rae will play third base.
Lane can also play first base and the outfield when she isn’t pitching. Rae can also catch.
Emmie Streams will catch and she and returning center fielder Taylor Coombs give the Rams a speedy combo at the top of the order.
Ashley Schultz and Cassidy Ireland, who started in left field and at second base, respectively, a year ago, are also back, as is Kristie Gerrish, who saw some time off the bench last season.
Coach Barron is enjoying her group as she leads them through tryouts.
“They’re great kids.”