March 15, 2013

LeGage stepping down at Deering

The respected boys' basketball coach wants to spend more time with his expanding family.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - With the upcoming arrival of his second child, Deering High boys' basketball coach Dan LeGage has resigned after 11 seasons to spend more time with his family.

"My wife is due in July," said LeGage.

LeGage and his wife, Trisha, have a 6-year-old son, Lucas. Their second baby is also a boy.

"I was kidding my wife that I will have my own little backcourt," said LeGage.

LeGage called his 11 seasons with the Rams "a wonderful experience."

"I was blessed with great kids and great coaches," said LeGage. "I received great support from the faculty. My goal when I came to Deering was to build a program that was able to not just rebuild, but reload each year. I think we accomplished that. Deering basketball is in good shape. Whoever gets the job will be very happy. The new coach will have a very good team to work with."

LeGage, 40, coached Deering to three Western Class A titles and two state championships, and had an overall record of 145-70.

In 2006, Deering won its first boys' basketball state title, beating Hampden Academy. That came after a loss in the 2005 state final, also against Hampden.

LeGage wasn't the coach when Deering lost state finals in 2001 and 2002. After the 2005 loss, LeGage could sense the frustration in the Deering community.

"People were starting to doubt if we would ever win one," he said. "Fortuntately, we were able to break through."

The Rams added a second title in 2012, again defeating Hampden. This past winter, the Rams finished with a 15-4 record. They were seeded second in the regional tournament but lost to No. 7 Thornton Academy in overtime in the quarterfinals.

LeGage said he will miss the relationships on the basketball court, but it's not as if he's going far away -- he will continue as a science teacher at Deering.

LeGage also plans to stay in touch with high school basketball. "I'm looking forward to the time when I can return to coaching," he said.

A job in school administration could also be in LeGage's future, as he earned his master's degree in educational leadership last year.

LeGage, a standout basketball player at Portland High and the University of Maine-Farmington, was recently inducted into the UMF Athletic Hall of Fame.

After graduating from UMF in 1995, LeGage was an assistant coach at St. Joseph's College, then an assistant at Portland High for five years.

He was on the coaching staff when the Bulldogs won the Class A state championship in 1999.

Deering Athletic Director Melanie Craig called LeGage "one of the best in the business. Dan established quite a legacy as a high school coach. He won with character and integrity."

Deering now has two major coaching openings to fill. Football coach Jon Gallant resigned two weeks ago.

"We're hoping to fill both before the April vacation," said Craig. "We want to fill the positions as quickly as possible because they will have a lot of work to do and we want to make the transition as smooth as possible."

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

 

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