Dottie O’Donnell, then Dottie Cameron, leads players through drills during a 2017 practice in Ellsworth. O’Donnell, who served as the head softball coach at Ellsworth High School the past two seasons, told players Oct. 30 that she would be leaving the position to accept an assistant role at Colby College. FILE PHOTO

Ellsworth softball coach leaves post to take job as Colby College assistant

ELLSWORTH — For the second time in three years, Ellsworth High School will be searching for a new head softball coach.

Dottie O’Donnell will be leaving the Eagles to accept an assistant role at Colby College, the high school announced last week. The Ellsworth coach of two seasons will be an assistant for the Mules.

O’Donnell, Ellsworth Athletic Director Josh Frost confirmed to The Ellsworth American in an email Thursday evening, informed the Eagles’ returning varsity players of her decision early last week. WDEA was the first to announce her departure as head coach Wednesday.

“It has been such an amazing opportunity to be a part of the Ellsworth culture,” O’Donnell said. “I will forever be thankful for not only the experience but also to the players, parents and coaches I’ve met along the way.”

Ellsworth named O’Donnell head coach following Rick Roberts’ resignation from the position in November 2016. An assistant under Roberts during his final three years at the helm, O’Donnell went by the last name of Cameron until her marriage this fall.

In her two years as head coach, O’Donnell’s teams compiled a 19-18 record. The Eagles posted strong playoff performances both years, reaching the Class B North semifinals after an upset of top-seeded Gardiner in 2017 and making the quarterfinals this past season after beating 13-3 Hermon in the preliminary round.

The move to Colby continues what has been an eventful fall thus far for the South Plainfield, N.J., native, who was announced Oct. 4 as a member of this year’s Husson Sports Hall of Fame class. O’Donnell will be inducted Dec. 7 at Spectacular Events Center and Catering in Bangor.

“I cannot thank the Ellsworth athletic department enough for being so supportive during my time with Ellsworth as well as with this transition,” O’Donnell said. “I wish the current Ellsworth softball team the best of luck in their future endeavors, and I look forward to following their careers.”

During her time at Husson from 2008-11, Cameron became the program’s all-time leader in at-bats and base hits with 550 and 195, respectively. She finished her college career with an impressive .355 batting average and led the team to three North Atlantic Conference Tournament wins and four regular season championships in her four years at the school.

At Colby, O’Donnell will join a staff led by Terren Allen, who also boasts a Hancock County softball background. Allen played at Bucksport High School from 2004-07 before continuing her career at the University of Maine. Allen later spent four years as an assistant with the Black Bears prior to being named head coach at Husson, where she went 94-66 in four seasons. She was named Colby head coach in August.

Colby College will begin its 2019 season next March and will look to improve on last season’s 2-28 campaign. The Mules play in the New England Small College Athletic Conference with Bates College, Bowdoin College, Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) and Tufts University (Medford, Mass.).

As for Ellsworth, the Eagles will play their first regular season games in April  The team will be one of 21 set to compete in a packed Class B North field and will be aiming to reach both the regional quarterfinals for the fifth straight season.

“We will be advertising for the varsity softball position in a few weeks,” Frost said. “We plan on doing interviews around the first week of January.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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