BANGOR, Maine — Quinn Paradis, who took over as the interim head coach of the Bangor High School hockey team last season after suspended coach Denis Collins resigned, will be the Rams’ permanent head coach next season.
Paradis led the Rams to the second seed in Eastern Maine Class A and a berth in the EM Class A championship game.
The Rams, who lost to Lewiston 5-1 in the title game despite outshooting the Blue Devils 36-24, finished up at 17-4.
Paradis was 15-4 as Collins coached the first two games, both victories, before he was suspended for an incident on a bus trip to Presque Isle.
“We were very pleased with his work as the interim head coach. He worked very well with the student-athletes and with the coaching staff,” said Bangor High athletic director Steve Vanidestine.
“We thought the season went pretty well considering what happened [in the Collins situation] and we’re happy to have him on board,” added Vanidestine.
Vanidestine said he interviewed all the applicants for the job and felt Paradis was the best choice. Vanidestine wouldn’t discuss the number of applicants but said there were fewer than 10.
“He has the same philosophy as the high school: support all of the athletes in all sports and support the academic achievement of the athletes,” said Vanidestine.
He said Paradis was aware of players’ academic performance and the players worked “very hard” on the ice for him.
“We wanted them to reduce their penalties and he did a good job of making sure they did that,” said Vanidestine.
Vanidestine said he felt Paradis and his players “earned the respect” of their opponents and handled the championship game loss to Lewiston with class.
The 30-year-old Paradis said he is “excited about the challenge” and is already looking forward to next season.
“I think we’re going to be very good,” said Paradis, whose team will return goalie Rye Powell and its entire defense corps, although three of the team’s top four point-getters, including Travis Roy Award winner Parker Sanderson, will have to be replaced.
“We are losing some key players but we’ve got some good players coming back and our JV program was strong,” said Paradis, who graduated from Bangor High in 2001 after being a winger on the hockey team and earned a degree in sports and business management from Husson University in 2005.
In addition to Sanderson, fellow EM Class A first-team pick Zach Papsadora and second-team selection Zeb Tuell, both forwards, will also graduate, but first-team defenseman Justin Courtney, second-team defenseman Galen Perry and second-team forward Jordan Tracy will return to headline the nucleus along with Powell.
Paradis, who was an assistant and the JV coach the previous two seasons, said the most important thing he learned from last year was the importance of “bringing fun back into the game.
“We did some team bonding. The guys played hard all the time. It was a great year,” said Paradis.
He said the team did reduce its penalty minutes later in the season and that will be a point of emphasis next season.
“That’s definitely going to be a big factor. We’ve got to stay out of the box,” said Paradis, who added that academics will also be emphasized.
Paradis said the transition from assistant to interim head coach wasn’t that difficult and he will continue to play an “offensive-minded” style of hockey.
He does intend to bring back his assistants, Jack and Mike Hersom and Jon Kotredes.
Paradis owns Hero’s Sports Grill on Washington Street in Bangor.