Ed Feeney built one of the greatest dynasties in Maine girls’ basketball while coaching at Portland High School. With Title IX firmly in place, the 1980s became an explosive era for girls’ basketball in Maine.
Girls who previously had few physical outlets, found themselves with summer basketball camps and regional and state titles in which to compete. In addition, young girls had heroes like Kelly Butterfield, Rita O’Connor, and Lisa Blais to look up to. The skill level of high school girls improved rapidly and there were several teams that were dominant. Teams like Gorham and Westbrook high schools set the pace, but Ed Feeney’s teams would soon claim the mantel of excellence in southern Maine.
So completely dominate were the Lady Bulldogs, that from 1983 to 1997 Ed’s teams went to the state title game 11 times, winning 3 Gold Balls in ’84, ’85, and ’88. It is hard to imagine winning eleven regional championships in fifteen years; but the Lady Bulldogs accomplished that incredible feat.
Coach Feeney’s teams played with a ferocity and defensive intensity that set them apart; as coaches would say, they played “with attitude.” His teams often intimidated their opponents by their very presence; they played the city game with a city attitude and were not afraid to get dirty in the process. Simply put, they mirrored their coach’s approach to competition; they weren’t girls playing the game, they were athletes playing the game.
Ed won 415 wins in his storied career. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and was named MABC Coach of the Year in Maine in 1984 and ’88. Ed was SMAA Coach of the Year four times and coached the McDonalds’ All-Stars in 1988.
Today is a special day for coach Feeney as he is being inducted alongside two of his former player, Lyn and Sharon Bay two of the building blocks of his amazing Portland High School teams.
Welcome to the Hall of Fame coach Ed Feeney. Ed and wife Lucille live in Portland and have four children Kelley, Holly, Michael, and Ashley.