The Brewer High School field hockey and girls soccer programs have new coaches with previous varsity coaching experience.
The Brewer School Committee approved Sarah Estes as the field hockey coach and David Hamel as the girls soccer coach on Monday evening.
Estes will replace Mike Turner and Hamel will take over from Tom Coleman. Both stepped down after two seasons.
Estes, who teaches language arts at the Brewer Community School, spent the past two seasons coaching the Old Town High School field hockey team.
She led them to a berth in the Eastern Maine Class B title game this past fall, where the Coyotes lost to eventual state champ Nokomis of Newport 1-0. They wound up 14-2-1.
The Coyotes went 9-5-1 in her first season.
Old Town had been 7-23-3 in the three seasons prior to Estes’ arrival.
Hamel has been a full-time coach for several different age groups with the Seacoast United soccer club the past two years. He had been the varsity boys soccer coach at Hermon High before stepping down after the 2004 season.
Brewer athletic director Dave Utterback said the hirings are “a good day for Brewer High School.
“Sarah is smart and dedicated to field hockey,” said Utterback. “Her results at Old Town speak for themselves. She’s a commanding presence and she’s structured. She wants to build a feeder program throughout the region. She’ll do a great job.”
Estes is the assistant varsity softball coach at Brewer under her dad, Skip. Her father, in turn, assisted her in field hockey at Old Town.
She plans to have him as her assistant at Brewer.
Utterback said he was worried about finding someone qualified and top-notch to coach the girls soccer team, “but I think we hit a home run.”
He said Hamel has an impressive track record at the high school and youth levels.
“Dave knows what we have in the program and what’s coming up [for players]. [Coleman] did a great job getting girls interested and David will take it to the next level,” said Utterback.
After Brewer’s 0-14 season in 2012, Coleman guided the Witches to a 2-11-2 mark this past fall with six losses by two goals or less.
Estes and Hamel are excited about their upcoming challenges.
“It was a very difficult decision to leave Old Town because the girls were a pleasure to work with and the parents were very supportive,” said the 24-year-old Estes, a multi-sport star at Brewer High and Thomas College in Waterville. “But I had to do what was right for me at the moment for my coaching and teaching career.
“I work in Brewer and I’m part of the community as an alum,” added Estes, who also coaches the school’s B girls basketball team. “We have a very established middle school program and I’d like to start a feeder program beginning with second- and third-graders for the Bangor area. Girls have field hockey sticks in the second grade in the Skowhegan-Waterville area and that’s the only way we’re going to catch up to those programs.”
She said she hopes to implement a summer program for the high school players.
Brewer went 11-14-3 in two seasons under Turner.
The 37-year-old Hamel, a former standout soccer and baseball player at Bangor High and the University of Maine-Presque Isle, said he has been looking to get back into high school coaching.
“I want to make soccer better in Brewer and in the area,” said Hamel. “[Brewer boys soccer coach] Ben Poland and I have been friends for a long time and we’re committed to changing the culture in Brewer starting with the summer programs. I want the girls to work on their fitness and to get a lot of touches on the ball three days a week this summer. I want to get them off the couch and doing something.
“I want them to start being more competitive.”