BREWER, Maine — Andy Nickerson has resigned as head varsity girls basketball coach at Brewer High School after nine seasons.
Girls soccer coach Tom Coleman has also resigned after a two-year stint.
Nickerson, a former Brewer High standout athlete in the early 1980s, said he thought the time was right to step down.
“I just think it’s time for a change. I need a change, maybe the program needs a change,” said the 48-year-old Nickerson. “It was a privilege to coach so many wonderful kids. I went into this hoping to make a difference in their lives and, at the same time, these kids have made a difference in my life. When we started, we set some goals for the program to get to certain levels. A lot of things we were able to attain, a lot of them we weren’t. But my hope is the program will continue to move forward.
“It was a very difficult decision. I thought about it for a long time. But it’s the right decision,” added Nickerson, who owns Wight’s Sporting Goods in Hampden.
Nickerson said the administration and community have been very supportive.
Brewer went 2-16 this past season but were eighth with 9-9 records the previous two years.
Brewer athletic director Dave Utterback said Nickerson will be sorely missed.
“He certainly motivated the girls to play with a lot of heart, passion and energy. He got the most out of them. They won two games this year but they were undersized. They hung in for good stretches of games and they were always competitive,” he said.
Utterback also said Nickerson was instrumental in developing continuity throughout the system and he was an important contributor in establishing a strong feeder system for girls in grades three through eight.
“There were a lot of other people who also helped build that [youth] program. We have a very competitive youth program in place. The girls have developed the skills that will allow them to be competitive,” said Nickerson, a 1988 University of Maine graduate.
He had 21 players try out this season, which is down slightly from previous years, but he said he never had more than 29-30 girls try out and expects the numbers to rebound.
Nickerson will be able to spend more time with wife Julie and daughters Holly and Meg, who are attending Husson University and played for him at Brewer. He also said he will have more time for his hobbies of hunting, fishing and playing golf.
Coleman has stepped down after being recently appointed as a science resource partner for AOS No. 81, which is affiliated with a grant through University of Maine’s Elementary Science Partnership.
Coleman is still a second-grade teacher in Holden and was finding the time commitment to be too much between his profession, his new position and raising his young family, according to Utterback.
He has four children.
“We brought Tom in and asked him to rejuvenate the program and get the interest up and he did. We had 36-37 girls play soccer last fall and we have a big incoming class next year,” said Utterback.
Brewer went 2-11-2 but lost six games by two goals or less. They were 0-14 the previous year.
“The win total wasn’t where we wanted it to be but the future is bright. Tom made it fun for the girls. We had over 20 players show up to play summer soccer and there is a team playing indoor soccer at Field 4 Kids [in Bangor],” said Utterback.
“It was my pleasure to be the head soccer coach the past two years,” said Coleman. “I feel the program began its journey to become a strong competitive program in Class A. The numbers have grown and we have teams in the summer league and indoor soccer league. We got our first two wins and a tie which we hadn’t had in a long time and we were very competitive in a lot of other games. And we won the (Eastern Maine Class A) sportsmanship award. The rebuilding and re-energizing of the program has been started.”
Utterback said he hopes to have two new coaches as early as April.