The Marblehead Magicians will have some new faces this winter as athletic director Greg Ceglarski announced the hiring of Jamie Coombs as the new girls basketball coach and Chris Wells as the new girls hockey coach.
Coombs will take over for Wayne Hanscom at the helm of the Magicians, who led the program for the last three seasons. Coombs is no stranger to the Marblehead community, however, having coached the middle school basketball squad for the last six years.
“Jamie brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to our basketball program,” Ceglarski said in a statement. “We are so fortunate Jamie has stepped up to our high school team, and we know she will bring her passionate coaching style and will continue running a successful and dynamic program here at Marblehead.”
Coombs was a standout athlete at Peabody High, where she played basketball and soccer. She continued her soccer career at Plymouth State, where she was a captain for two seasons and played for all four years. She spent three years coaching in the Northwood School District in New Hampshire and two years coaching at Plymouth High. She is currently the Health Education teacher at Marblehead Veterans Middle School.
Coombs inherits a team that went 9-11 last season, just missing the playoffs after back-to-back losses to Swampscott and Classical to end the season. The Magicians will have a young squad, with three starters graduating last spring.
Marblehead last made the tournament in 2016, but fell in the opening round.
Wells is also a familiar face in Marblehead, serving as an assistant coach of the Magicians under Emily Hudak last year. He’ll have big shoes to fill, as Hudak departs with more than 100 wins under her belt.
“Chris has proved to us he has the experience and ability to continue building the program that former head coach Emily Hudak has grown over the last decade,” Ceglarski said.
Wells played four years of varsity hockey at SUNY Fredonia and was named as a State University of New York All-Star in 2005, as well as earning back-to-back Michael K. McDonald Awards for “demonstrating perseverance, leadership and commitment to the program and community” in 2004 and 2005. Wells coached for three season with Cape Ann Youth Hockey.
“We are thrilled to have Chris at the helm of the Marblehead hockey program,” Ceglarski said. “He brings passion, energy and a wealth of knowledge to the school, and we have no doubt it will be a smooth transition.”
The Marblehead-Swampscott co-op team, which went 10-11 in the 2016-17 season, will return a number of strong players this season. Leading that group will be Sydney Cresta, who logged 21 goals and 13 assists last season. The Magicians graduated just three players from last year’s team.