WATERVILLE — New Thomas College men’s basketball coach Geoff Hensley is excited to take the next step in his college basketball career in New England, where it started.

“I played college basketball in New England,” he said. “I know how big basketball is in Maine. When I saw a Division III head coaching job open in Maine I had to jump at it. Thomas has a ton of potential. I’m so excited for this opportunity.”

Hensley comes to Thomas from Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky, where he spent two years as an assistant coach. Centre won two Southern Athletic Association titles with Hensley on staff. It also reached back-to-back NCAA Division III tournaments.

“We’ve had a ton of success (at Centre). I’m at the point where I’m ready to be a head coach,” Hensley said.

“We are pleased to have Coach Hensley join the Thomas coaching staff and college community,” Thomas athletic director David Roussel said in a statement provided by the school. “He will bring a great knowledge and passion for the game of basketball, and we look forward to him developing our young men on and off the court.”

Hensley is the fourth men’s basketball coach at Thomas in little more than a year. After T.J. Maines resigned to coach Cony High School in Augusta, former Terrier Darrell Alexander took over the program. Alexander was fired with four games left in the regular season and replaced by Dick Whitmore, who won 637 games in a four decade career at Colby College and served as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The Terriers went 11-15 last season. Hensley met the team when he interviewed and is excited to get started.

“I had lunch with the team,” he said. “There’s a good core coming back.”

If last season’s Centre team is an indication, Thomas will continue to play an up-tempo style. Center averaged 76.3 points per game, three more than the Terriers, and both teams shot more than 20 3-pointers per game.

“You’ll see exciting basketball played at a high level, with a lot of unselfishness,” Hensley said.

A 2006 graduate of Norwich University, Hensley was an All-Great Northeast Athletic Conference selection as a player. He earned the league’s rookie of the year award in 2003. After graduating from Norwich, Hensley served four years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Officer.

Prior to his time at Centre, Hensley was an assistant coach at Springfield College.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242 | [email protected] | Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM