Gene Fadrigon, who guided the John Bapst High School Crusader hockey team to its first-ever top seed for the Eastern Maine Class B playoffs this past season, has resigned.
“I’m going to miss it,” said the 64-year-old Fadrigon, who is a department head and instructor in the automotive and truck department at Bangor’s Eastern Maine Community College.
“I loved the kids and I loved coaching and teaching. And the administration was awesome,” said Fadrigon. “Coaching at John Bapst was a pleasure.”
He also said 96-98 percent of the parents were great to deal with but it was the other two to four percent who drove him away with their negativity and constant, behind-the-scenes meddling.
“It was always something with them. At my age, I just want to have fun,” said Fadrigon. “I’m too old to put up with that other stuff.”
Fadrigon had been an assistant at John Bapst for two years before taking over as head coach this past season after Aaron King moved to North Carolina.
Fadrigon led the Crusaders to a 16-2 record before they were upset by fourth seed and eventual EM B titlist Presque Isle 5-1 in the semifinals.
He had spent 15 years as the head coach at Old Town High School and led them to a pair of state Class B championships before stepping down after the 1997-98 season.
Before beginning his tenure at Bangor-based John Bapst, he had assisted King with the Penobscot Valley Conference travel bantams (12-14 year-olds) for two years.
During his three seasons with the program, John Bapst compiled a 44-16-1 record. He also had the opportunity to coach his grandson, Tyler Fadrigon, who was a Crusader defenseman.
Fadrigon said he told JB athletic director Rick Sinclair that he would return to coach “if [Sinclair] couldn’t find somebody he felt comfortable with. I’m not going to leave him high and dry.”
And he wouldn’t rule out returning as an assistant coach.
Sinclair said Fadrigon’s decision to resign was a shame.
“He is everything an athletic director could ask for in a coach,” said Sinclair. “He is organized, timely and great with the kids. And with all that experience he had in hockey, it worked out great.
“He did a great job and we had a great season. The whole coaching staff was outstanding. It’s sad to see him go. He’ll be tough to replace. But I think you’ll still see him around the game of hockey. He likes it too much,” added Sinclair.
Fadrigon was assisted by Matt Stairs, Josh Landers and John Duff.
The athletic director also said the circumstances behind his decision to resign were “unfortunate.
“A man with his experience and at his age shouldn’t have to deal with that,” said Sinclair.
Sinclair said he is meeting with a possible replacement for Fadrigon on Wednesday.
“If all goes well, he’ll be the replacement,” said Sinclair. “Gene spoke very highly of him.”