Moran has stepped up for Marblehead girls basketball

Marblehead, Ma. 12-17-18. Coach Paul Moran. (Owen O'Rourke)

MARBLEHEAD — Paul Moran has had an interesting start to the basketball season. After agreeing to help both the Marblehead boys and girls basketball teams in their preseason preparation this year, a quick turn of events resulted in Moran taking over interim head coaching duties for the Magicians girls team.

“The plan was to help out both the girls and boys teams as they got ready for the season and that was really it,” said Moran, who has been coaching high school basketball for about 20 years now. “But then (Marblehead girls coach) Jaimee (Callahan), who was about six or seven months pregnant, decided that it would be better for her to take her maternity leave before the season. And then as for me becoming the coach, it just kind of happened.”

This actually isn’t the first time Moran has been in this position, as he fulfilled a similar role back in 1999 when he filled in as the Swampscott girls basketball coach for a year. He then went on to coach the Danvers girls team (2000-2004), the Swampscott boys team (2005-2007) and the Saugus boys team (2008-2017). He has also run basketball camps in all three towns over the years and has coached a number of his current players in a camp at some point.

“Honestly I’ve just been really lucky with the jobs I’ve gotten over the years,” Moran said. “They’re all great communities with great kids, and I wouldn’t trade any of it.”

Moran assumed full control of the girls team about 10 days into the preseason, meaning the learning curve was pretty steep on both sides.

“I think the hardest part, for both sides, was just the difference in routine and style,” said Moran. “Obviously Jaimee and I play a different kind of game and have different styles, so it was tough for myself and for the girls to adjust. In a perfect world no one would want to change up their routine, but we’ve done a good job of adjusting so far.”

So now that the transitional period is mostly behind the Magicians, it’s time to look forward to the rest of the year. Marblehead currently stands at 1-2 on the young season. They earned their first win of the season with a victory over Gloucester earlier this week.

“I think we’re going to have a really solid year,” Moran said. “We have a good mix of youth and veterans, and we have a great senior class. They work really hard every day and set an example for the younger players, which is really all I can ask for as a coach.”

Marblehead is currently on a one-week break for the holidays and will return to action next weekend in its annual Christmas Tournament. With powerhouse teams like Peabody, Austin Prep and Natick also in the field this year, taking home the trophy will be no cake walk.

“It’s a tough, tough tournament,” Moran said. “We’re going to have to bring our A-game if we want to come out of it on top.”

Marblehead will take on Peabody next Saturday morning (10).

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