Bill Schwarz, one of Eastern Maine’s longtime soccer and hockey coaches, will not return to coach the Brewer girls soccer team in the fall while it’s unlikely he’ll return to the school’s ice hockey coaching post, either.
Schwarz acknowledged that problems with parents in both sports is the main reason he’s not planning on returning, although he was never approached with any issues.
“Not one parent called me just last year with concerns,” he said. “They never approached me with any kind of concerns.”
Brewer coaches are tendered a one-year contract that expires at the end of that coach’s season, according to Brewer School Committee chairman Mark Farley.
“We always post the positions every year,” he said. “Coaches who expect to return or are planning to return have to notify the superintendent or athletic director that they intend to come back the following year.”
Brewer’s girls soccer and hockey positions are currently open.
Schwarz said he’s “tired of soccer” and won’t re-apply for that post, but said he’s not ruling out a return to coaching hockey.
Even though there were rumors on Internet message boards that a group of Brewer parents approached the school committee recommending that Schwarz not return, Farley said that didn’t occur.
“There were no parents that came to a school board meeting,” he said.
Schwarz, an ex-U.S. Marine who also coached hockey at Bangor, Foxcroft Academy and Hampden Academy, guided the Witches for three years in his second coaching stint at the school, replacing Steve Van Dolman prior to the 2006 season.
His most successful campaign came in 2006-07, the first year of his second coaching stint at Brewer, when the Witches won the Class B state championship, defeating Greely of Cumberland Center 4-3.
“I think you remember more the kids that you have over the years than that,” Schwarz said.
A year after winning the state B title, the Witches were reclassified to Class A and had success in those ranks the last couple of seasons, reaching the regional semifinals on each occasion.
Brewer fell 4-3 in the semis to Waterville this past season and lost 2-1 to Lewiston in 2008.
Schwarz’s teams had an outstanding run over those three seasons, compiling a 53-13 record.
He also coached at Brewer for eight seasons in the mid- 1990s and led the Witches to Eastern Maine Class B championships in 1994 and 1995.
Schwarz coached at Foxcroft for two seasons prior to his first stint at Brewer while he spent two years at Hampden before his second go-round with the Witches. He coached at Bangor in between his first tenure with Brewer and time at Hampden, guiding the Rams to postseason play five times.
Brewer will drop down to Class B this winter, and the team graduated eight seniors, including leading scorer Dylan Fitzpatrick.
Brewer has struggled on the soccer field recently, as the Witches posted a 1-13 record in the Eastern Maine Class A ranks last fall.
In order for that program to improve and compete with teams such as Bangor and Hampden, Schwarz feels the youth programs need to improve.
“They need to be playing a lot more soccer when they’re younger,” he said. “Bangor and Hampden have tons of kids, you seem them playing out in the fields, year-round.
“A few years ago the middle school went from two soccer programs to one; that didn’t help any. They just don’t play enough soccer.”
Schwarz added that the town’s youth programs are “more of a parks and rec. thing” and believes there are no competitive travel teams in Brewer.