Matt Reid has been a fixture in the Western Maine Conference as a player and as an assistant coach and now, he’ll get an opportunity to lead his own program as he’s been selected as new boys’ basketball coach at Freeport High School.

Reid, who replaces Matt Cook, who served three seasons with the Falcons, played for Cape Elizabeth earlier in the century and played a key role when the Capers shocked Falmouth in one of the most famous upsets in tournament history, a 44-42 buzzer-beating triumph in a 1-8 game in the 2004 Western B quarterfinals.

Reid spent the past five seasons as an assistant to longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Jim Ray.

“When I first saw that the Freeport position opened, I knew right away I wanted to apply,” said Reid. “As a player and as an assistant coach, I have gotten to know some of Freeport’s coaches and administrators over the years, including JV coach Terry Jewett and athletic director (and former coach) Craig Sickels. I had nothing but respect competing against them and now that I get to work with them, I’m extremely excited, to say the least. Philosophically, we are all on the same page in regards to how to run a program and how to successfully teach the game of basketball.”

The Falcons are coming off a 2-16 campaign and have missed the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, but Sickels feels the program is ready to turn the corner and that Reid is the perfect person to lead them to great things.

“We don’t graduate much and this is as promising a group as we’ve had in several years,” said Sickels, who coached against Reid when he played for the Capers. “The (coaching selection) committee was really high on (Matt’s) experience, knowledge, passion and energy. He’ll infuse energy into the program with his personality. Cape is a class act. He had the benefit of playing and coaching with a classy organization which does things the right way. He’ll bring that same level of intensity to us.”

Reid has high hopes for the Falcons.

“My intention is to build a rock solid program, from the earliest grades all the way up to the high school,” he said. “My vision is, with a little bit of patience and a lot of hard work, the Freeport boys’ basketball program will become a consistent contender in the Western Maine Conference.

“The number one goal for everyone in the program is to improve every single day, coaches and players alike. The two main variables I always look for in my players and teams are attitude and effort. If the players take coaching well and they work their hardest day in and day out, it’s my belief that we can turn this program around and achieve anything. I did not take this position at Freeport merely to pass time or go through the motions.”

Ray feels that Reid is ready to take the next step and become a head coach.

“Matty brings intensity, enthusiasm and a great work ethic,” Ray said. “I’m very excited for him and Freeport is fortunate to have him.”

Reid credits Ray for turning him into head coaching material.

“Coach Ray is my guy,” Reid said. “Anyone who knows me knows that. When I played for Coach Ray, he was a terrific teacher of the game. Coaching with him, in his program and by his side, he was (and still is) an amazing role model and mentor for a young coach like myself. Having said all that, what I really appreciate most about Coach Ray is our friendship we have now. Simply put, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my coaching career without him. It will certainly be a hefty task coaching against him and his team at Cape, but it is a challenge I’m very excited about and am really looking forward to.”

The Reid Era begins at Freeport later this month with the start of summer basketball.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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