AUGUSTA — Ted Rioux resigned as girls varsity basketball coach at Cony with just two games left before the end of his third season.

Cony athletic director Paul Vachon confirmed that he received a resignation e-mail from Rioux on Monday.

“There were philosophical differences that were not able to be worked out,” Rioux said. “For the betterment of my family and the program, I felt it was best for me to step aside. I love basketball and I love coaching this game and I look forward to my next opportunity.”

Assistant coach Jim Ward is also not with the team but is still under contract with the school district, said Vachon, who declined further comment, saying only it is a personnel matter.

Vachon took over coaching the varsity and junior varsity teams on an interim basis on Monday. He is also the unified basketball coach at Cony and coached all three teams’ home games on Tuesday.

Cony is 2-15 and plays its final game of the season Thursday at Erskine Academy. Vachon, who coached the Cony girls to eight state championships in 23 years, will coach both the JV and varsity games. The home unified game against Carrabec scheduled for Thursday will be rescheduled, possibly for Friday, Vachon said.

Vachon declined comment on Rioux’s reasons for stepping down.

“I’ve known Ted for 30 years. He’s been a good friend of mine,” Vachon said. “To be honest with you, it’s due respect for him to answer that question.”

Rioux, who had served as an assistant with the Cony girls under Vachon and worked at Vachon’s basketball camp for nearly 30 years, returned to Cony to become head coach in 2013. The Rams went 13-7 in his first year, reaching the Eastern Class A semifinals, then dropped to 2-16 last season.

While he declined to get into specifics about the philosophical differences or the timing of his resignation, Rioux said the decision to step down “had nothing to do at all” with the Rams’ struggles the last two years.

“Paul and I still have a great relationship,” Rioux said. “I thank Paul and each of my coaches, particularly Jimmy Ward, for all of the support, and the community for the support given to me.”

Prior to becoming Cony’s head coach, Rioux spent two seasons as the women’s basketball coach at Thomas College, where Ward served as his assistant coach. He also coached at Waterville for five years, winning three straight Class B girls state championships in 2007-09, when the Purple Panthers compiled a 67-game winning streak. From 2001-06, he coached at Belfast Area High School.

Rioux is an alternative education teacher at Waterville Senior High School.

Rioux, who lives in Winslow and has two children, ages 9 and 6, said he did not talk to any players about his resignation and has not discussed it with Ward. He said he would like to continue coaching basketball at some level but has nothing lined up at this time.

Longtime assistant coaches Dave Hopkins and Gerard Lapierre rejoined Vachon on the bench for the remainder of the season.

“We’re trying to make a positive out of this and I think the administration has allowed me to do that,” Vachon said. “We’re working hard to make this a fun week for the kids and I think they are enjoying it, but not as much as I am.”

Vachon said the team was upbeat before and after Tuesday night’s 69-65 loss to Camden Hills on senior night.

“I don’t know if they’re happy with all the rules that I’ve put in, but they’re really, really doing a great job. They played really hard (Tuesday) night and we had a great crowd for senior night,” Vachon said.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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