WATERVILLE — The new boys basketball coach at Waterville Senior High School never lost a game as a high school player. Now he hopes to enjoy success on the sideline.

Nick Pelotte, a standout guard at Valley High School and Plymouth State University, was approved by the Waterville school board as the Purple Panthers varsity boys basketball coach on Monday. Pelotte replaces Wade Morrill, also a Valley alum, whose teaching position at Waterville Junior High School was cut.

“If you asked me 10 years ago if I wanted to get into coaching, I would have told you 100 percent, no,” Pelotte said, “and I don’t know why I would’ve answered that way.”

Pelotte graduated from Valley in 2001 with an 84-0 record as a player. In 2010, he was inducted into the Plymouth State Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. As a junior in 2004, Pelotte led Plymouth to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Last winter, he was an assistant coach under Damien Strahorn with the Colby College men’s basketball team.

“This past winter, I had a blast. I learned some things about the game I might have thought I knew,” Pelotte said.

Pelotte took over Waterville’s summer team in June.

“I think Nick’s pretty dynamic,” Waterville athletic director Heidi Bernier said. “He brings a lot of enthusiasm to the program.”

Along with Pelotte’s basketball knowledge, Bernier said the selection committee was impressed with Pelotte’s association with so many talented coaches, who mentored him for years. Pelotte has worked at the Pine Tree Basketball Camp at Colby College, and has learned the game from coaches including former Colby coach Dick Whitmore, UMaine-Farmington coach Dick Meader, and former Valley coach Dwight Littlefield.

“You have to be cognizant of giving your squad the best possible way to win,” Pelotte said. “One of the things I’ve learned is, in coaching, it’s your job to figure that out and put them in the position to succeed.”

Waterville went 11-8 last season, losing in the Eastern Class B preliminary round to eventual state champion Old Town. While Pelotte hasn’t met his entire team yet, he likes what he’s seen thus far.

“The kids I’m working with now, they work hard. I’m excited,” Pelotte said.

As a player, Pelotte excelled playing an up-tempo style of basketball. He’d like the Panthers to play a fast game, but said it may take some time to implement.

“I think eventually, what I would love to do is play basketball at its most entertaining level possible,” Pelotte said. “We’re hoping to create turnovers, create havoc and keep the pace up.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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