By Adam Birt

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Ryan Jones, baseball head coach at Scarborough High School for the past three years, is upping the ante in his coaching career. Jones, who led the Storm to 14-2, 10-6 and 7-9 seasons in his tenure with the team, has accepted the position of assistant softball coach at the University of Maine.

“I’ve always wanted to coach at the collegiate level,” says Jones, who’ll be in charge of outfielders, catchers and hitters, as well as recruiting and travel plans.

Jones has the skills and experience to deserve the position. Without batting an eye, he ticks off the primary difference between softball and baseball, as he sees it: “The biggest adjustment is the speed of the game. Smaller field, everything happens faster.”

He also has a substantial familiarity with Black Bears athletics. He grew up in Bangor, and both his parents work at UMaine: His father is the equipment manager for most of the teams there, and his mother is in admissions.

Moreover, in his younger years – he’s still not that old, just 27, soon to be 28 – he was the bat boy for UMaine baseball. At the time, Mike Coutts was a coach for the team, and it was Coutts, who, as the head coach at Scarborough, first took Jones on as an assistant there four years ago.

Jones assisted Coutts with the Storm for a year; when Coutts left to go back to UMaine, Jones took the wheel of the ship. Coutts took up an assistant post for Black Bears softball under his wife Lynn, who’s now moving to an associate athletic director job at the school, opening the head coaching slot for her husband and the assistant coaching slot for Jones.

Likewise, Jones already knows some of the girls he’ll be instructing. In his stretch in southern Maine, he coached travel softball – the Maine Thunder – for three summers, during which time he worked with one girl currently on the UMaine roster, Chloe Douglas. A few other Black Bears were also associated with the Thunder in the same period as Jones.

“I’m excited,” he says, “to work with them, as well as the other girls on the team, new to me. I’m looking forward to working with D1 talent, too!”

Jones’s new gig is a clearly strong career move. As an assistant coach, he’ll make a full-time salary and earn benefits. For the past several years, he’s worked four part-time jobs in southern Maine. In addition to helming the Storm, he also worked as a substitute teacher, as a private instructor at the Edge Academy in Portland and at Sable Oaks Golf Club in South Portland.

Ryan Jones

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