Greg Stone won’t be returning as the hockey coach at Bangor’s John Bapst High School.
But he doesn’t know why.
Stone guided the Crusaders to a 6-12 season in his second year behind the bench after they had gone 1-14-3 in his first campaign.
“We appreciate the time and effort Greg put into the program,” said John Bapst athletic director Rick Sinclair. “But we’ve decided to go in another direction.”
Sinclair said he didn’t want to elaborate on the reasons he didn’t renew Stone’s contract.
He added that he hopes to have a new coach named before the end of school next month.
Stone said he asked Sinclair why his contract wasn’t renewed and Sinclair gave him the same answer.
“All he told me they want to go in a different direction,” said Stone.
Stone said he was surprised by the decision.
“I have no idea what they’re doing. But that’s their prerogative and they’re exercising their prerogative,” said Stone, who had replaced Gene Fadrigon.
“The only thing that disappoints me is I’d really like to know what the reason was,” added Stone. “But I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. I’m not going to badmouth anybody. That’s not what I’m about.”
The 64-year-old Needham, Mass., native said he had to deal with some issues on the team but nothing out of the ordinary and nothing major.
Fadrigon left after guiding the Crusaders to a 16-2 record and their first-ever top seed in the Eastern Maine Class B playoffs. He said he was fed up with dealing with a small minority of meddling parents.
“I didn’t have any issues with the parents, but maybe they had an issue with me,” said Stone.
Stone has no hard feelings toward Sinclair.
“I like Rick. He does a good job,” said Stone.
Stone was the first hockey coach at Orono High School in 1984 and spent three years in that capacity while working at the University of Maine.
He came to John Bapst after coaching the women’s hockey team at Castleton State College (Vt.) in 2007-2008. He had been the head men’s coach at Castleton State in their first two seasons of existence (2003-2005).
He said he enjoyed his time at John Bapst.
“I thought we did a good job and we were prepared to go forward,” said Stone, who feels the new coach will inherit a quality team.
“We have some good players coming back. We have two or three freshmen and sophomores who are real quality players. The team should be very good,” said Stone. “I wish them good luck.”
Stone said he wouldn’t mind coaching again “if the right thing is available. But, as of now, I have no plans to coach next year.”