BANGOR — Nine years ago, Dave Gonyar cited timing and family considerations for resigning after 15 years as the varsity baseball coach at Bucksport High School.
Now those same reasons are bringing him back, this time in the same position at John Bapst of Bangor.
“My kids are a little older now, and the timing is right,” said Gonyar, whose three children — Ryan, Ben and Allison — are all students at John Bapst.
“As a person, Dave’s a great guy. And as for what kind of coach he is, that goes without saying,” said John Bapst athletic administrator Rick Sinclair. “He was just what we were looking for.”
Gonyar, a 1986 University of Maine graduate who as a senior was an outfielder on the last Black Bear team to reach the College World Series, enjoyed considerable success during his coaching tenure at Bucksport.
He guided the Golden Bucks to eight Eastern Maine Class B final appearances and one regional championship before deciding to step down after the 2002 season to spend more time with his young family.
Gonyar also coached basketball at Bucksport, including three seasons as the boys varsity coach (1999-2002) when he guided the Golden Bucks to a 41-19 record and three straight tournament appearances.
Gonyar coached the Brewer American Legion baseball team for 10 years, a run highlighted by the Falcons winning back-to-back state championships in 1996 and 1997 — the last state titles won by a Zone 1 program.
Sinclair said he first spoke to Gonyar about the possibility of returning to the coaching ranks at a local golf course earlier this summer, which led to further discussions and ultimately Gonyar’s decision to apply for the job.
“Everybody who’s heard the news has said ‘good hire,’” said Sinclair. “We are really excited to have him coaching here.”
Gonyar inherits a John Bapst baseball program that qualified for postseason play during each of Graham’s eight years as head coach. The Crusaders finished fifth in the final Eastern Maine Class B Heal point ratings last spring with an 11-5 record before dropping a 6-5 decision to No. 4 Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor in the regional quarterfinals.
“I’ve heard we’ve got a good nucleus returning, and John Bapst has had some good teams not only in baseball but in other sports, too,” said Gonyar, who works as the general manager of Gold’s Gym in Bangor. “That positive attitude, that winning attitude, certainly carries over to other sports.”