BIDDEFORD — The Biddeford boys basketball team will have to replace much of the varsity roster, after losing 10 seniors to graduation, and will now have to replace the man leading the program.

Mike Fecteau announced on Thursday that he is stepping down as coach of the Tigers after 12 years at the helm.

“I think it’s time for me to let somebody else step in. I’ve been doing it for 12 years. Just, I’m mentally tired right now,” said Fecteau. “I go from coaching football, to basketball, to, I (coached) baseball, then softball, then summer basketball. It was just like I never had a break in those 12 years because I was always coaching three sports. Mentally I was just worn out.”

Fecteau recorded his 100th career coaching win midway through last year, amidst one of the few seasons during his tenure that didn’t include a trip to the playoffs. Fecteau’s teams made eight trips to the postseason in his 12 years, and were 6-1 in prelim games.

“When we were put in a situation in a prelim game for getting into the big dance, it seemed like we were pretty good,” Fecteau said about his success getting his teams to the quarterfinals.

Fecteau said that his teams always worked hard, and often times made up for not having the most talent.

“I always knew when they stepped on that court, they would compete. That was rewarding to be part of that,” said Fecteau. “Whenever my kids stepped onto the floor, they always thought they had a chance to win.”

Fecteau said his best team was probably the 2003-04 team that started 9-0 and finished 14-4, and earned the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. Fecteau said he had a “great group of kids” that included Phil Bourassa, Justin Tardiff, and his son, Kyle Fecteau. That team won its first game at the Cumberland County Civic Center before falling to eventual state-champion Portland.

Fecteau said another highlight in his tenure was seeing Bobby Cote named the player of the year in the SMAA after the 2011-12 season.

“It was rewarding watching him become a great player, but also he became the league MVP in the SMAA, which was because of hard work and determination. That’s what Biddeford kids always did,” said Fecteau.

Fecteau also said he was proud that many of his players were students first, evidenced by having seven of his players named to the SMAA all-academic team this year.

Fecteau said the thing he will miss the most is the players.

“I’ve had great relationships with my players. I will miss that,” said Fecteau. “I just loved every part of coaching there.”

Resigning has been on Fecteau’s mind for a year now, he said, but with a large senior class and a new gym, he was lured back for one more season.

“Once it’s in your blood, coaching, it’s tough to let go,” he said. “It’s tough to do, especially when you’re at a school like Biddeford, and you just love going to coach.”

But during the season, Fecteau said it became evident that the season would be his last. He said he notified administration late in the year of his intentions, and let his players know after a season-ending loss to Thornton Academy.

“I told them the last game, when we played TA, that it was probably my last game coaching,” Fecteau said.

He waited to make it public until after the winter sports banquet, saying “I didn’t want the banquet to be about me.”

He also waited until after taking a vacation to see his daughter play softball for Western New England in Florida. Fecteau said it was the first vacation he could remember taking since becoming head coach.

“I wasn’t used to that,” Fecteau said about taking a break. “It felt good.”

Fecteau said that he had it good at Biddeford ”“ being able to coach his alma mater for over a decade ”“ and that he’s been very fortunate. He said he just hopes that he was able to make a difference in all the players’ lives, the way they did for him.

“Hopefully I’ve given them something that’s helped them in their lives. I know one thing, I’ve learned a lot from the kids that I’ve coached, and they’ve given me something that I can carry on in my life,” he said.

— Contact Wil Kramlich at 282-1535, Ext. 323 or follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.

        Comments are not available on this story.

        filed under: