BREWER, Maine — Tom Coleman has landed his dream job.
But returning to coach at his alma mater, Brewer High School, will certainly have its share of obstacles.
Coleman is the new coach of the Witches girls soccer team and he inherits a program that went 0-14 last fall, 1-26-1 over the past two seasons and 9-72-3 over the last six years.
“I’m extremely excited,” said the 37-year-old Coleman. “It has been a dream of mine for many years.”
Coleman played high school soccer under Mike Jeffrey at Brewer and was a defensive midfielder on a team that played in three Eastern Maine Class A championship games.
He played a year at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, where he was a fullback, then transferred to the University of Maine where he suffered a career-ending knee injury during spring workouts as he tried to make the team as a walk-on.
He has run the Holbrook Recreation Department’s Saturday soccer program and also coached a girls team for the Bangor Soccer Club from 2006-2010.
He has been a referee and a member of the Eastern Maine Board of Soccer Officials since 2007.
Coleman knows he will have his hands full.
One of the first tasks for him is to find a way to entice his girls to play summer soccer.
Several multisport athletes elect to play softball or basketball.
“I set up some makeshift games this summer. We’ve scrimmaged some other schools and we’ve set up some games by mixing our boys and girls together on teams. In the spring, I’d like to set up summer games against other schools and coordinate them with basketball and softball to meet everybody’s needs,” said Coleman, who replaces Andy Maxsimic, who stepped down last year.
Coleman said he wants to change the program’s culture.
“The big thing is I want to teach these girls how to win, how to be positive on and off the field,” said Coleman. “I understand this year will be a growing year. I’m a new coach with a new set of expectations. If we can keep a positive attitude and an open mind, we’ll be able to do some good things.”
He expects to have a team laden with freshmen and sophomores and he won’t formulate a system “until I see what I have first.”
“A lot of it will be based on how athletic the girls are. We’ll use a pass-and-support concept,” he said. “I think I will have a team with good athletes but they’re young and they don’t have the level of soccer experience girls on other teams have.”
He will be patient building his program.
“I don’t plan on being a one-year guy,” he said.
He intends to call upon his friends in the soccer world such as former MMA teammate and ex-Husson University men’s soccer coach Seth Brown to assist him.
“I always put 110 percent into it,” said Coleman, who teaches second grade at the Holden School and has taught for more than 15 years.
Coleman, who lives in his hometown of Dedham, has four children with wife Amanda.