BANGOR — Bangor High School has been a Class A girls soccer power in recent years, but Kasey Danforth hopes to develop similar success for the Rams in another fall sport.
A former Old Town High School and University of Maine athletic standout, Danforth has been named Bangor’s new varsity field hockey coach.
Danforth replaces Krystal Doughty, who coached the Rams last fall and remains on the school system’s coaching staff.
“Soccer is definitely a big deal in Bangor, but hopefully we can spark interest in the program as a place where girls can have some fun but also work hard and commit to it 100 percent,” said Danforth, the former Kasey Spencer. “I’m coming into this with the idea that everyone has a clean slate, but we’re playing in the (Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference) where the competition is the best around, so we need to be intense and in great shape, for sure.”
Danforth was a second-team Division I Northeast all-star as a senior at Maine in 2005 as selected by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
She went on to graduate from Maine in 2006, then earned her master’s degree in exercise science a year later. Danforth subsequently lived and worked in Pittsburgh for 3½ years before moving back to Maine last August with her husband Brett to begin raising a family — which now includes 7½-month-old son Quincy.
She was contacted earlier this summer about the Bangor coaching vacancy by the school’s athletic administrator, Steve Vanidestine.
“When I was first contacted I thought, ‘I’ve got so much going on, I can’t do that,’” said Danforth, who works as a registered dietitian and also operates her own consulting business. “But as I talked to people about it, they said ‘you should do it.’
“My ultimate goal is to work with athletes either in strength and conditioning, nutrition or coaching, and I think I was at the point in my life where I was missing being a competitor and a coach.”
The Bangor field hockey program had no player cuts for its varsity and junior varsity teams last year, reflecting a modest participation rate in the sport. Danforth hopes to change that, both during the school season and by developing a summer program for field hockey players in the area.
“We were looking for someone who is a role model, who has excelled in field hockey and who has a good feel for the game at the high school level,” said Vanidestine. “Kasey fit the bill perfectly. She wants to build the program.”