Dan White, who guided the Foxcroft Academy football team to two postseason appearances in as many seasons as the Ponies’ head coach, is leaving that post for family and professional reasons.
White originally was hired on an interim basis in July 2009 for one season, just after he also had been hired by the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union, where he now serves as executive vice president.
White took the Foxcroft coaching reins from Paul Withee, who wasn’t rehired after 19 years with the Ponies.
But Foxcroft then went 11-1 under White, winning the LTC title and advancing to the Class C state championship game, so he subsequently opted to coach at his alma mater for one more season.
“I agreed to come back this year with the understanding that this would be it,” said White, a 2003 Foxcroft graduate who was the LTC Class C football player of the year as a senior before moving on to play baseball at Husson University of Bangor.
This season Foxcroft finished 5-5, winning its final two regular-season games to return to postseason play and then defeating Bucksport in the LTC quarterfinals before being edged by top-ranked and undefeated Stearns of Millinocket 14-13 in the semifinals last Friday night.
“At one point we were 2-4 and the way we approached it was that we had to win our last two games just to make the playoffs,” said White. “We did that, and then we went on the road and beat a good Bucksport team, and then we went (to Stearns) and gave them the best game they’ve had this season. To do that with as little offense as we had was a credit to our run defense and our will.”
White said the leadership experience he gained through coaching at Foxcroft will serve him well in his professional capacity at the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union, which has branches in Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Greenville, Guilford and Brownville.
“Coaching at Foxcroft certainly was an experience unlike any other in my life,” said White. “It’s been a great experience for me, I had a great relationship with the school, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my assistant coaches, especially (defensive coordinator) Gary Worthing.”
In addition to his professional obligations, White’s decision to leave coaching also was based on the growth of his young family, as he and wife Tara welcomed their first child, Owen, to the world last spring.
“I’m being trained in a number of complex things where I work and it’s very demanding,” he said. “That combined with having a young family are where my priorities are right now.”
EM boys teams shine
Eastern Maine boys soccer teams experienced rarely seen success during Saturday’s state championship matches, with Bangor, Fort Kent and Bangor Christian winning three of the four titles at stake.
That marks the first time Eastern Maine has claimed three schoolboy soccer titles in one year in a quarter-century, since Brunswick, Ellsworth and Piscataquis of Guilford all returned home with gold balls in 1985.
Back then there were just three classes, as Class D wasn’t added to the mix until 1989.
The West has swept all four classes in the state finals four times since 1989, in 1995 (Cape Elizabeth, Marshwood of Eliot, Georges Valley of Thomaston and Richmond), 1998 (Greely, York, North Yarmouth Academy and Richmond), 2001 (Cheverus of Portland, Falmouth, Saint Dominic of Lewiston and Waynflete of Portland) and 2007 (Greely, Falmouth, Saint Dominic and Richmond).