Luke Hartwell, who coached the Valley High School boys basketball team to the Class D state championship this season, has resigned after three seasons, citing family reasons.

“It was certainly a surprise to me,” Valley athletic director Heather Merrill said. “He and Jason, his twin brother, I hired them when I first got here. They were the first two coaches I hired.”

Hartwell, 32, said his brother, Jason, also resigned as an assistant basketball coach to spend more time with his young family.

“I have two young children who are 6 and 4 and they’re starting to get involved in stuff at school,” Hartwell said. “I want to be a father and help out with that. I felt like I missed a lot this year with them.”

On Feb. 27, Valley defeated Easton, 55-44, at the Augusta Civic Center to win its first state championship since 2003.

“This year was a great year. You couldn’t ask for a better group of kids,” Hartwell said.

Under Hartwell, the Cavaliers went 53-10 and won the regional championship twice. In 2014, Valley lost the Class D state title game to Hodgdon.

“Since then, he’s been very focused on getting the team back to the Gold Ball. He did a great job,” Merrill said.

A 2002 Valley graduate, Hartwell was a 1,000-point scorer as a player and helped the Cavs win four consecutive state titles.

“It’s such an opportunity to coach at a place where you had success as a player,” Hartwell said. “To see (a state championship) from a different level and see them experience what I experienced was very special.”

Hartwell didn’t rule out returning to coaching someday, but added it would likely be at the youth sports level and involve his children.

“I may try to get involved at some point with my children, if they want to do (sports),” Hartwell said.

Hartwell will continue teaching social studies at Valley. The search for Hartwell’s successor will begin immediately, Merrill said.

“Right now, I’m still a little stunned. We’ll have to get on that, because we have a full summer basketball schedule,” she said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM