SKOWHEGAN — Bob Witts, the new girls basketball coach at Skowhegan Area High School, puts a priority on having the community involved in the program.

“I really believe you have to get the fundamentals involved at (the rec) level,” Witts said, “because then when you get to the high school level, it will be a lot easier.”

Witts was approved as the new Skowhegan coach by the school board last week. He replaces Heath Cowan, who coached the Indians for the last nine seasons and won the Eastern A title in 2010.

Skowhegan athletic director Don Finley said six people applied for the job and four were interviewed. Witts teaches at the Marti Stevens Learning Center, which is part of Maine School Administrative District 54. He said he moved to the area recently because he breeds labrador retrievers and wanted to find a farm.

Witts played at Hawthorne College in New Hampshire, where he led the NAIA in scoring in 1980-81 with 35.4 points per game. He also played two seasons at Gloucester County College for Fang Mitchell, who has won over 400 games at Coppin State University. Witts played and coached at the pro level in Australia and his son Tom still plays professionally there.

“We’re real fortunate to get him,” Finley said.

Witts most recently coached at Unity College, where he coached the women’s team this winter. He said he wants his teams to press, play an uptempo style and be fundamentally sound. If there are 10 players on the bench, he’d like to find a way to use all 10.

“It may not be the kind of minutes they like, but I’ll try to find minutes for everybody,” he said.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243
[email protected]

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