Legendary basketball coach Ordman Alley will not be part of the inaugural class of 22 men and women inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday – even though his name was among the inductees announced at a news conference in March.
Alley also has been removed from the roster of those enshrined in the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, where he was inducted in 2003.
Neither group would elaborate on why the 72-year-old Alley, a highly successful coach at Jonesport-Beals High School for almost four decades, had been removed from its rolls.
The Maine Basketball Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremonies Thursday evening at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Steve Pound, chairman of the hall’s board of directors as well as an inductee, said the group’s directors reconsidered Alley’s enshrinement in mid-April.
“The board voted not to induct (Alley) at this time,” he said Wednesday, without further explanation.
Dick Whitmore, president of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, said that group’s executive board voted to remove Alley in June, but offered no details about why the decision had been made.
A mission statement on the Maine Sports Hall of Fame’s website states one of the group’s objectives is “to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.”
Alley was reached by phone Wednesday at his Beals Island home in Washington County.
“I have no comment,” he said. “I understand why you’re calling. I’m not as important as you think. Goodbye.”
Alley coached the Jonesport-Beals Royals for 39 seasons, winning nine state Class D championships, including five in a row from 1970 through 1974. He also was a teacher at the school. Before retiring in 2005, his teams won more than 500 games, a milestone few other Maine high school coaches have reached.
Those teams became part of Maine sports lore. Surnames common in the Jonesport area such as Alley, Beals and Carver appeared again and again on rosters. Most of the players were the sons of Downeast families who trapped lobster and fished. Alley himself had as many as 500 lobster traps in the water.
He took his teams to the Bangor Auditorium for the Eastern Maine tournament so many times that he was called the King of the Orditorium.
Alley was inducted into the University of Maine-Machias Clipper Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. He was a star basketball player at UMaine-Machias, graduating in 1964 from what was then called Washington State Teachers College.
UMaine-Machias President Dr. Cynthia Huggins was aware of the actions taken by the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, but said Alley would remain part of the university’s sports hall of fame unless some legal action or proceeding was brought to her attention.
A search of the state’s public database shows that Alley has no criminal record in Maine.