UPDATE: Bryan James now coaching Wiscasset boys middle school basketball

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 8:45am

    Update: Phil Di Vece, who was coaching the boys middle school basketball team after the coaching changes listed below, is no longer coaching, and Bryan James, the assistant high school boys basketball coach, will coach the boys middle school team in this week’s playoff games, Athletic Director Cameron Bishop confirmed Tuesday, Jan. 31.

    Original post:

    Two Wiscasset middle school boys basketball coaches are done for the season and a past one is finishing it after a Jan. 12 incident that resulted in an assault charge for one man, according to local officials.

    Wiscasset Police Chief Larry Hesseltine said the department responded Jan. 12 to a report of an assault in the parking lot of Wiscasset Middle High School. Officer Hunter Farrell investigated; Russell Marr, 51, of Wiscasset “reported he had been assaulted by Richard Mank, 70, also of Wiscasset,” Hesseltine said in an email response to Wiscasset Newspaper’s questions. Hesseltine said the alleged assault followed a “verbal confrontation” between the two men. Mank has been charged with assault, a March 2 court date given, and the case will be forwarded to Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office, Hesseltine said.

    In a phone interview Jan. 26, Superintendent of Schools Robert “Bob” England Jr. confirmed Marr has been the boys middle school coach this season and is not, for the rest of the season; Mank has been an assistant coach this season, and is not, for the rest of the season; and past coach Phil Di Vece is coaching the rest of the season.

    England said Athletic Director Cameron Bishop informed parents Jan. 19, an incident occurred Jan. 12 upon return from a South Bristol game; that no student-athletes were involved; that an investigation began into what occurred prior to and during the incident; that during the investigation it became apparent that the behavior of student-athletes and the overall culture of the team had deteriorated and consequently it has been determined that the season will move forward without two coaches” and that, for now, Di Vece will coach.

    After the season, “a thorough evaluation of the program will be conducted. Collectively, continued efforts must be made in order to develop consistently successful programs that support the emotional and social development of our student-athletes,” England continued. 

    Via email Jan. 25, Bishop confirmed the rest of the middle school boys' basketball season “will proceed as scheduled.” He deferred other comment to England.