Basketball keeps tugging at Ron Cote. And he keeps coming back to it.
Cote, the long-time and highly successful coach from Biddeford, will be recommended to the Scarborough School Board at its Nov. 1 meeting to become Scarborough High’s next girls’ basketball coach.
Cote, 62, will replace Tom Maines, who left Scarborough after leading the Red Storm to the Western Class A championship game in his only year at the school.
He earned the recommendation from the interview committee. His approval, based on his record and reputation, is expected.
“I think this is a good opportunity for me,” said Cote. “I think it’s a pretty good fit. I like their athletes, I like the way they compete, I like their attitudes. They’re coachable. It all fits into my personality, into my coaching philosophy.”
Dave Briggs, president of the Scarborough basketball boosters, was excited over the possibility of Cote coaching the Red Storm. He played for Cote at Biddeford High and his daughter Ashley is a sophomore at Scarborough.
“He’s a high character person and he’s obviously a good coach,” said Briggs. “He knows a lot of the kids already because he worked with them one summer when (Jim) Seavey coached. The kids are excited. The parents are excited. It’s a good situation.”
Cote, who was an assistant coach at Cheverus last winter, earned his reputation at Biddeford.
He graduated from the University of Maine in 1973, and coached a year at Old Town and two at Brewer before returning to his hometown. He took the Biddeford boys’ basketball job in 1976 and held it for the next 16 years, winning a Western Class A title in 1991.
While at Biddeford, he was also the offensive coordinator of Biddeford’s football teams for 18 years and coached the Biddeford baseball team for 11 years, winning the Class A state title in 1984.
He left to coach the University of New England men’s basketball team for seven years before returning to Biddeford as a girls’ basketball assistant. In 2004 he became the girls’ head coach, leading the Tigers to six playoff appearances and a spot in the regional final in 2009. His record was 80-40.
In a statement, Scarborough athletic director Mike LeGage said Cote’s “expertise will provide Scarborough’s student-athletes with the best opportunity to learn those important life skills essential for success on and off the court.”
Cote left coaching in 2010 “to take care of a medical problem,” he said. He returned last winter to help coach the Stags.
“It’s great to have him back,” said Mike Giordano, the head girls’ coach at South Portland. “He’s a class act. … He certainly brings out the best in the kids he’s coached over the years.
“His kids play hard, they’re aggressive and they respect the game.”
Cote said it will be a challenge following both Maines and Seavey, who led the Red Storm to the Class A state title in 2010.
“Those guys did a nice job with that program,” he said.
Giordano said the Scarborough program needn’t worry.
“They’ve gone from one icon to another,” he said.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: