WATERVILLE — Last Nov. 20, the first day high school basketball teams across the state began to practice, Scott Corey turned to his wife and said, “This is the fourth year in a row I will not be in the gym for tryouts.” When she asked how he felt about that, his response was immediate.

“I was totally fine with it,” Corey said.

That will change next winter. A former girls basketball coach at Erskine Academy, Corey will take over as boys basketball coach at Temple Academy. Corey knew his next coaching job would be at a Christian school, like Temple Academy or Bangor Christian. He expected it would happen after he retired as a special education teacher at Erskine, but when the Temple job opened up now, Corey felt he had to apply.

“When I left (Erskine), I knew I wasn’t leaving for good. I enjoy teaching the game,” Corey said.

Corey coached the Erskine girls basketball team for 19 seasons, stepping down following the 2013-14 season.

“It was time for me to leave. The kids needed a fresh voice,” Corey said.

Temple athletic director Phil Hubbard worked alongside Corey for years when they both coached at Erskine.

“We wanted a veteran with lots of experience developing young players and discipline,” Hubbard said. “We’ve been in the MPA (Maine Principals Association) four years. We need that person where we feel like we have control of a good, disciplined program.”

Corey replaced Tom Simmons, who coached the Bereans most of the last four seasons. Hubbard coached Temple in its Class D South quarterfinal game against Valley. On Thursday, Hubbard declined comment when asked why Simmons did not finish the season coaching the team.

Corey inherits a program on the upswing. Since rejoining the MPA four years ago, Temple has seen steady improvement. The Bereans reached the playoffs each of the last two seasons, falling in the Class D South quarterfinals each year. Corey met with Temple players last week. He has a light, five-week summer program planned.

“It’s just so I can get to know the kids and they can get to know me, and just teaching them the game. I’m really looking forward to it,” Corey said.

As to what style of basketball the Bereans will play under Corey, the coach was noncommittal.

“I need to take some time to learn the league (Temple plays in the East/West Conference). I want a team that’s united, plays hard, and plays together. I want them to represent the school they wear on the front of their chest with pride,” Corey said. “We want to be diverse in what we do and not be predictable.”

Hubbard said Corey was the best fit for Temple in a strong group of candidates.

“Scott understands the kids. He’s a great man of character,” Hubbard said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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