OLD TOWN, Maine — It didn’t take Nick Arthers long to follow in his father’s formidable footsteps.
The former Belfast High School and Husson University standout will begin his career in education in earnest next fall as a physical education teacher and head football coach at Old Town High School.
“We’re very excited,” said Old Town principal Scott Gordon, who had to fill the position for the second time in two weeks.
Arthers was named six days after Old Town’s initial choice for the position, Nat Clark of Bangor, changed his mind and decided not to take the jobs.
“In light of what happened with Nat, we just thought [we should hire] someone that we were familiar with, the kids were familiar with, somebody who would provide a little bit of immediate stability and familiarity,” Gordon said.
Arthers, a 2009 graduate of Husson University in Bangor, already had his foot in the door at Old Town, where last year he was an ed tech and an assistant baseball coach.
“Nick’s a young guy and he’s somebody that wants to be there and I think he could be an answer for us for a long time,” Gordon said.
Arthers, who could not be reached for comment, is the son of longtime football coach and administrator Butch Arthers. The Lincoln native directed Belfast football to a 111-58 record, three state championships and six Eastern Maine titles in 16 seasons from 1992-2007.
“I’ve known his dad my whole life,” said Gordon, who also hails from Lincoln. “He went on to success in coaching, so I guess we’re kind of hoping the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and that he can have even a smidgen of his dad’s success.”
Gordon said Butch Arthers will join his son at Old Town as an assistant coach.
“I think that’s a good brain for Nick to pick on the sidelines,” Gordon said.
Nick Arthers replaces Steve Calande, who led Old Town to a 6-3 LTC Class C record in 2010, the program’s first winning season since 1997. The Coyotes went 2-6 last year after moving to the Pine Tree Conference Class B ranks.
Last fall, Arthers was an assistant football coach at Belfast High. This marks his third summer as the head coach of Hampden-Winterport’s entry in the Zone 1 American Legion baseball ranks.
He has guided the Riverdogs to a 28-24 overall record, including back-to-back appearances in the Zone 1 tournament. Hampden-Winterport is 5-5 thus far in 2012.
Arthers enjoyed athletic success at Belfast, where in 2003 the senior co-captain helped propel the Lions to their second straight Pine Tree Conference Class B title and the state championship.
He was an All-PTC Class B first-team selection at quarterback and was a semifinalist for the coveted James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy given to the state’s top senior football player, student and sportsman. Arthers averaged 7.8 yards per carry, started at linebacker, was Belfast’s punter and played on special teams.
Arthers graduated in 2004 and walked on as a member of the University of Maine baseball team. He spent two years with the Black Bears, appearing in two games, before transferring to Husson.
As a senior with the Eagles in 2009, the catcher was named the North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and a New England Baseball Writers Association second-team all-star. He batted .416 while propelling Husson to a school-record 33 victories and its first trip to the NCAA Division III tournament.