Nokomis High School of Newport field hockey coach Katie Thompson said there is never a good time to leave a program in which you “invested a lot of time and energy.”
But departing after you lead your team to an undefeated state championship season “would probably be one of the best times to do it.”
And that is what she is doing.
Thompson, who guided her 18-0 Warriors to their second state Class B championship in four years this past fall, has taken a job with the state’s Portland-based Great Schools Partnership.
“We’re focused on proficiency-based education,” said Thompson who will travel across the state to schools who have signed on with the Great Schools Partnership and work with administrators and staff members to help them improve their institutions.
Thompson coached the Warriors for 11 seasons and led them to Eastern Maine titles in 2008, 2010 and 2013 as well as state championships in 2010 and 2013.
“It’s difficult to walk away from coaching,” said Thompson, who was also a science teacher at Nokomis High. “At the same time, I’m really committed to my education and I’m passionate about education. So I feel like it is time for me in my career to put my emphasis on that.”
Thompson received a degree in biology and a master’s degree in science education from the University of Maine and she is currently working on her doctorate in education leadership through UMaine.
“I’m going to miss coaching. The thing I’ll probably miss the most is the friendships I’ve made through the Nokomis field hockey family and the interaction with the kids. The games and winning championships are great but the thing that really keeps you going is the relationships and the opportunity to see kids grow,” said the 33-year-old Thompson.
She will also miss the sport although she intends to attend as many games as she can when she gets the opportunity.
“I’ve always loved field hockey. I’m very passionate about it,” said the former Lisbon High School field hockey player, who played one season at St. Joseph’s College in Standish before transferring to UMaine.
She will step down as president of the Maine Field Hockey Association but will remain as part of the board of directors as a past president.
She said some of her success can be attributed to the administration and community.
“You couldn’t ask for any more support than I received,” said Thompson.
She said whoever replaces her inherits a program that is on solid ground.
“Whoever takes over has a good bunch of girls coming up. The feeder program is pretty strong,” said Thompson, who averaged over 10 wins per season.
The Warriors graduate six starters but have some experienced players returning including junior backs Kamryn Foss and Libby Dunivan and freshman forward Olivia Brown, whose 11th goal of the season gave the Warriors a 1-0 win over York in the state championship game.