KENNEBUNK, Maine — In its monthlong search for a new head coach for the boys hockey team, Kennebunk didn’t have to look far, as the school hired assistant coach Sean Smith to take the reins of the program.
The position became vacant when longtime head coach Donald Hill resigned last month after being charged with engaging a prostitute as part of an alleged prostitution operation involving a Zumba instructor in Kennebunk.
Smith, a 2005 graduate of Kennebunk High School, was an assistant on Hill’s staff for the last three years. His familiarity with the program played a part in getting the job.
“After all was said and done, we felt that every candidate had some definite strengths, as did Sean,” said Kennebunk athletic director Thor Nilsen. “But the one thing that made Sean stand apart was his relationship with the kids that he has built over the last three years. We felt that was a strong, positive relationship, and we wanted to continue with that.”
Smith was one of seven candidates who interviewed for the job, but Nilsen said that, in the end, “it was unanimous in that we felt that Sean was the best fit.”
“Looking at his philosophy on dealing with kids, being fair but being firm, and his overall demeanor combined with his experience as an assistant within the program, and having come up through the program, we just felt it would be a natural fit for him,” said Nilsen.
Nilsen said Smith’s familiarity with the players was not the only reason he was hired, noting “certainly he’s fairly knowledgeable as well” in regards to the game.
Smith’s first day on the job was Monday, which was the first day of tryouts and practices for winter sports around the state. Smith takes over a team that reached the regional quarterfinals last year. The Rams open their season on Dec. 8, when they host Bonny Eagle.