The Hermon High School girls basketball team won its only state Class B championship in 1989, when the Hawks beat Gorham 68-47 in the final.
Lincoln native Tim Thornton was the team’s coach at the time, and he went on to guide the Hawks to another regional title and state final in 1994 only to lose to York.
Nearly 30 years later, the 62-year-old Thornton is returning to coach the Hermon girls.
He will replace Chris Cameron, who compiled a 97-28 regular season record in his eight seasons with the Hawks and led them to Class B North championships in 2020 and 2022. There was no tournament in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thornton, a retired teacher, coached the Hermon boys freshman team this past season.
He had been taking care of his ailing 91-year-old father, Ronald, who passed away in February.
“It was a great opportunity, as a son, to spend time with my dad the last year and a half,” Thornton said.
“I’m really excited to get back in the gym and help them learn how to develop their basketball skills and learn some life lessons when it comes to teamwork and how each individual can make the system better,” he added.
Thornton has an extensive coaching background.
He has been the head coach of the Brewer girls and Old Town boys basketball teams. He’s also served as an assistant coach for the Brewer boys under Mark Reed, Clayton Blood and Ben Goodwin, and for the men’s team at Bangor Community College, where he played two years of basketball.
He graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in education.
“His track record speaks for itself,” said Hermon’s athletic director Rick Sinclair. “He has a lot of experience. He will never find himself in a situation that he has never been in before. We’re lucky to have him.”
The Hawks are coming off a rebuilding season in which they went 9-9 and were ousted in the preliminary round by Foxcroft Academy.
“I will certainly be observing our team to find out what our strengths are and develop a defensive attitude that helps us accentuate those strengths,” Thornton said. “We will play hard-nosed defense and, hopefully, our offense will be driven by our defense.”