Former basketball coach Ron Brown and longtime coach and basketball referee Frank Keenan are among seven people who will be inducted into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors this weekend.
Keenan and Brown will be honored along with Art Descoteaux and Robert Philbrick. Clarence Keegan, John Corcoran and Phil Perrino will be inducted posthumously during an awards banquet scheduled for Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the Augusta Elks Club.
Maine Sports Legends was created to honor those who’ve made outstanding contributions to athletics and the youth of Maine and to provide scholarships for outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes. Banquet proceeds go directly to fund those scholarships.
Brown coached basketball for 34 seasons, including 19 years in the high school ranks. His teams competed in 11 title games.
Brown also coached professionally with the Maine Lumberjacks of the Continental Basketball Association.
The Camden native, who also served as an NBA talent scout, began his coaching career in 1969 in a YMCA church league.
Brown has earned four coach of the year honors and shared the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches’ Bob Brown Contributor Award with his wife Shelly. The former MABC president is most proud of the 14 sportsmanship awards won by his teams.
Brown is the president of Hoops Inc., which published Maine RoundBALL Magazine and Maine RoundBALL On-Line. Hoops Inc. also conducts summer camps, coaching clinics and promotes basketball statewide.
Brown writes a weekly sports column, “Time Out,” which appears Tuesdays in the Bangor Daily News. He has authored six books, including, “Simply the Best: The Cindy Blodgett Story.”
His most recent book is, “Calendar Coaching Guide,” which was released this summer by Lessiter Publications in Wisconsin. Brown also serves on the editorial advisory board for “Winning Hoops Magazine.”
Ron and Shelly live in Bangor. They have three sons, Scott, Todd and Nathan.
Keenan, 59, was an active basketball official from 1976 to 1986 and softball official from 1976 into the 1990’s. He was an International Association of Approved Basketball Officials board member from 1969 to 1990. Presque Isle High School’s athletic director from 1983 to 1989 also was an assistant principal for six years and a principal for five.
“I don’t feel like a living legend, but it is quite an honor to be inducted into such a great group,” said Keenan, Easton superintendent of schools and elementary school principal.
A member of the last class to graduate from Aroostook Central Institute (1965) and an alumus of the University of Maine (Class of 1969), Keenan began his teaching career in Mars Hill as a high school teacher and sub-varsity and varsity basketball coach as well as a varsity baseball coach. His basketball teams advanced to the Class C regional semis and finals and his baseball teams won two Aroostook League titles in his eight seasons.
An active member of the Maine Principals Association, Keenan has served as chair of the Class A basketball committee and been on the golf and classification committees.
Keenan is a two-time President’s Cup winner and a former Presque Isle Country Club champion. His sons Kasey and Kyle are coaches at University of New England and Noble High School, respectively.
Keegan represented the U.S. at the 1936 Olympics and was a standout baseball player in the 1930’s and 40’s. He played for UMaine and went on to play semipro as well. Rumford native Arbor played football, basketball and baseball at UMaine and later taught and coached at Hallowell and Cony High School. Corcoran officiated high school and college track meets for 53 years, and also was a track coach at Portland High for 25 years and athletic director for nine.
Biddeford native Descoteaux was a three-sport athlete at Biddeford High and was a baseball standout who attended Nasson College and broke the school’s single-season scoring record in basketball. He was Biddeford’s basketball coach 13 years and baseball coach for five. Philbrick was a four-year baseball starter at Morse High in Bath who played three years of varsity baseball and one of basketball at Boston University. He has served as commissioner of the Portland Twilight League and American Legion Baseball Zone 4 director.
Perrino coached at Deering High in Portland for 31 years and won a football state title in 1959. He served as a Maine Special Olympics counselor for 20 years and died in 1995.
This year’s scholar-athlete winners, each of whom receives a $500 scholarship, are: Julie Carson (Caribou High School), Andrew York (Central Aroostook), Ryan Tarr (Hermon), Sabrina Cote (Dexter), Michelle Gagnon (Biddeford) and Nick Sampson (Yarmouth).
For tickets, which cost $35, or more information about Sunday’s banquet, contact Paul McClay at 622-1539.