BANGOR – For the last 26 years, Troy Alley has spent his winters coaching basketball, be it at the middle school or college level.
Since UMaine-Machias dissolved its program earlier this summer, Alley has found a new sideline to call home. Earlier this week, the longtime Clippers coach accepted a new position as the boys basketball coach at Searsport High School.
It has been a difficult year for Alley. First, he lost both his father and niece in the spring. Then, in the summer, UMaine-Machias did away with its athletic program, dismantling a family tradition of coaching the Clippers. Throughout, Alley was not certain he would end the year coaching on another team’s sideline.
“I thought that maybe I would take some time off to kind of get things back into perspective and my life back into perspective, but the thought of that, I just knew it was going to be a long, cold winter…my family said, ‘You need to find a coaching job somewhere or you’re going to drive us crazy,” Alley said.
Alley had multiple offers from both college and high school programs, but saw Searsport as the best fit to remain in the game while still being close to family. The commute from Jonesport to Searsport is about an hour and half each way, but Alley has already mapped out how the daily journey will go.
“Figure that the hour and half there will be a good opportunity to plan out my practice, think about what I’m going to do that day, and then the hour and half return home after practice or a game will be a chance for me to unwind and put things into perspective, so when I get home I’ll be clear mind to spend time with my family,” Alley said.
Maine high school basketball teams will be allowed to start skills and drill sessions at home on Dec. 7, and team practices and intra-squad scrimmages on Dec. 14.