When Cindy Blodgett had the ball in her hands she could will her team to success.

Starting with Lawrence High’s Lady Bulldogs, whom she led to four consecutive state championships, and then the University of Maine Black Bears and four straight NCAA Division I tournaments, Blodgett could make it happen.

But unfortunately, that didn’t translate into wins when she traded her jersey and shorts for a pants suit and a seat on the sidelines.

Blodgett, the coach, got canned by the University of Maine last week after posting a 4-25 season.

It’s hard to say what went wrong, but Blodgett’s thin-skinned press conference, in which she claimed that she had been fired “without cause” after three years of losing and a steady flow of players abandoning the program, indicate that maybe a lack of people skills might have been part of the problem.

In the results-matter world of Division I college sports, there was plenty of cause to fire Blodgett. Which is not the same as saying that there was anything to applaud about her departure. Few athletes in the state have ever performed at such a high level, and given local sports fans so much to cheer about.

Blodgett is the all-time high school high scorer in state history, boys or girls. She is also a four-time college All American and set 20 University of Maine records.

It’s too bad the focus this week had to be on what other players failed to do instead of what she did with apparent ease.

Her lack success as a coach just shows what a hard job it is to teach. It’s not because she didn’t know the game or didn’t work hard enough. Even as a dominant player, no one worked harder.

For Blodgett, basketball is a consuming passion that takes around-the-clock dedication. Not everyone sees it that way.

Blodgett may someday learn how to instill that passion in others, but for now, put her in the ranks of some of the greatest athletes of all time, from Ted Williams to Magic Johnson, who couldn’t get their players to play as hard or as well as they once did themselves.