Gaddy Lefft, a former University of Maine basketball player who will serve as an assistant coach with the Black Bears next season, is pictured in 2019. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine athletics

It didn’t take University of Maine women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon long to fill her assistant coaching vacancy.

Former UMaine player and student assistant coach Gaddy Lefft, who spent last season as an assistant on former UMaine point guard Missy Traversi’s staff at the United States Military Academy in New York, has been hired to replace Parise Rossignol, who recently stepped down after three seasons.

Lefft spent two seasons at UMaine after three years at the University of Delaware, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science. She earned a master’s degree in global policy from UMaine in 2021.

“I’m grateful to Coach Traversi for giving me that opportunity. But it’s definitely nice to get back to my roots and to learn from Coach Vachon,” said the 25-year-old Lefft. It’s nice to return to a place I consider home.”

Lefft called her two years at UMaine “transformative” and she is looking forward to “competing for a championship with them and continue their tradition of excellence.”

UMaine has won the America East regular season championship four of the last five seasons and won the tournament twice during that span. UMaine was 20-12 this past season, 15-3 in the conference, and played in the WNIT after losing to Albany in the AE title game.

Vachon recommended Lefft to Traversi when a full-time assistant’s job came open at Army West Point and, a year later, contacted Traversi about hiring Lefft to replace Rossignol.

“It’s a crazy business,” chuckled Traversi, who said Lefft had a number of different responsibilities at Army with an emphasis on director of basketball operations duties.

“She is going to be a good fit for Maine,” Traversi said. “She is leaving on a positive note.”

Army went 16-13 overall this season and 10-8 in the Patriot League in Traversi’s first season. It was Army’s first winning season since the 2017-18 campaign.

Lefft, a native of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, began her college playing career at Clemson and saw action in 21 games as a freshman before transferring to the University of Delaware.

She sat out one season at Delaware due to NCAA transfer rules and missed the 2017-18 season due to injury before appearing in 20 games in 2018-19.

The 6-foot forward transferred to UMaine and saw limited playing time in 2019-20 due to an Achilles injury. She appeared in 16 games. During the 2020-21 season, Lefft was also an assistant in UMaine’s compliance department in addition to being a student assistant coach.

Vachon said Lefft had a huge impact on and off the court in their program and in the community in her two years at UMaine and that her work ethic, high standards and willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed make her a perfect addition to their program.

The head coach said Lefft will be involved in all aspects of coaching including recruiting and scouting opponents.

“She has a lot of experience in a lot of different areas,” Vachon said. “She has an enthusiastic personality.”