Dave Pepin, who coached the Searsport baseball team to Class C state championships in 2006 and 2008 as well as three consecutive Eastern Maine titles, will be back in the Vikings’ dugout this spring.
After a 55-minute executive session, the SAD 56 board of directors voted 6-5 on Tuesday evening to accept Pepin’s nomination as the varsity baseball coach for the 2009 season, according to minutes of the meeting.
That was in contrast to a board vote taken a month earlier, when directors voted 3-3-3 on a motion to accept Pepin’s nomination, thereby defeating the motion.
Pepin’s return had been in question since he pleaded guilty in Bangor’s 3rd District Court last August to an operating while under the influence charge stemming from a May 31, 2008, stop on Route 1A in Holden.
After that arrest, Pepin served a self-imposed two-game suspension at the end of Searsport’s regular season and also issued a public apology through an interview in the Bangor Daily News before leading his team through a postseason run capped off when the Vikings defeated Livermore Falls 5-0 to win their second state title in three years.
After entering his guilty plea, Pepin was sentenced to 72 hours in jail under Penobscot County’s alternative sentencing program for first-time offenders. He also was fined $600 and lost his driver’s license for 90 days.
When the SAD 56 board of directors met in January to consider his coaching position, it initially voted 10-0 to advertise the position both in-house and externally.
Pepin became the baseball coach at Searsport in 2004, and has guided the Vikings to a 76-21 record in five seasons. In his first two years he led the team to the Eastern C championship game, then in 2006 Searsport broke through to defeat Saint Dominic of Auburn for the program’s first state title in 31 years.
The Vikings returned to the state final in 2007 before falling in a rematch against St. Dominic.
High school pitchers and catchers begin preseason workouts for the 2009 season on March 23.
Cowing to guide Bucks again
A familiar face will return to the helm of the Bucksport baseball program this spring.
Mike Cowing, who coached the Golden Bucks between 2003 and 2005, recently was approved by the local school board for a second stint as Bucksport’s varsity baseball coach, according to Bucksport athletic administrator Jon Perry.
Cowing replaces the coach who replaced him, Daniel “Tiger” Stewart, who left after last season and moved out of the area.
Cowing previously guided Bucksport to three straight postseason appearances, including Eastern Maine Class B championship in 2003, and the Golden Bucks reached the regional semifinals again in 2005.
Stewart took over from Cowing as varsity baseball coach at Bucksport in 2006 after three years as the Golden Bucks’ junior varsity coach and led the Golden Bucks to a 43-14 record in his three seasons.
He guided his alma mater to an 18-2 record and an Eastern Maine title in his first season, and Bucksport reached the Eastern B final again in 2007 and finished with a 16-3 record.
Last year’s team, much younger than its two predecessors, finished the regular season with an 8-8 record. Bucksport then defeated Mount View of Thorndike in an Eastern B preliminary-round game before being ousted in the quarterfinals by John Bapst of Bangor.
Josh Tripp, currently the boys varsity basketball coach at Bucksport, was named the Golden Bucks’ junior varsity baseball coach. He had coached baseball at the middle-school level for the last five seasons.