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Bourgeois hired as new Panthers girls hoop coach

JOHN BOURGEOIS

NASHUA – One down, one to go.

The Nashua athletic department has officially filled one of its girls varsity basketball vacancies, as longtime Nashua South boys JV coach/varsity assistant John Bourgeois has been named the new Panthers girls hoop coach.

As for the Nashua North position, Nashua athletic director Lisa Gingras said a candidate has been selected but still needs to go through the Board of Education approval process. That should happen next week.

Bourgeois, 28, is a South alum, and has not only played for Panthers boys coach Nate Mazerolle but also learned under him on the bench for the last seven seasons.

“He’s a student of the game, always willing to learn,” Gingras said. “He certainly has knowledge of the game, but he’ll go to clinics, workshops, anything to improve as a coach and a basketball coach. The girls are excited.”

Bourgeois is the Panthers’ fourth coach in the last four years, succeeding Doug Booth, who coached the team for one season before returning to the Panthers boys indoor track program he had guided for several years. It’s that instability on the bench that made Bourgeois want to go for the South girls job if it ever became vacant.

“I watched all the inconsistency of the program,” Bourgeois said. “I came over (to the girls) because I wanted to do something about it.”

Bourgeois would stay after the boys practices at times and watch the girls work out.

“Last year he was around quite a bit after practice,” Gingras said. “He and Nate have plans for things like joint skill sessions, etc. He’s definitely a long-term solution, and he was a very clear-cut choice after the (selection) committee interviewed him.”

Bourgeois is not a teacher in the Nashua system, but works in the city in the private sector. The revolving door at South began two years ago when Dan Wyborney, now the AD at Souhegan, stepped aside – originially on a leave of absence — due to family reasons prior to the 2017-18 season. Assistant Dave Hogan took over on an interim basis and guided the Panthers to a tourney berth with a late season run. Booth was hired in the spring of 2018, and South last year was 6-12 and made the Division I tourney as the 13th seed, falling to No. 4 Manchester Memorial in the preliminary round. In 2017-18, the Panthers finished 7-11 but lost to eventual champion Bishop Guertin in the first round.

Bourgeois believes the Panther program has lost its luster and community standing somewhat and “believes that will change.”

“There is a lot to look forward to,” he said, “not only in the future but right now for this upcoming season. I’d love to put the focus back on the student-athletes as we work to get back on track.”