Andy Stephenson, son of former NHL goaltender Wayne Stephenson and son-in-law of Husson University football coach Gabby Price, has been named the new hockey coach at Bangor’s John Bapst High School.
He replaces Gene Fadrigon, who retired after three seasons during his second stint as the head coach.
Fadrigon directed the Crusaders to a 32-27-1 record over the past three seasons. They reached the Eastern Maine Class B finals two years ago and lost to Messalonskee of Oakland.
The Crusaders were 10-10 this past season and lost to eventual state champ Messalonskee in the semifinals.
Stephenson will inherit a team that lost six seniors but will have 20 players returning.
“I’m excited,” said the 36-year-old Stephenson. “It’s a great school. The kids get a great education and that’s what it’s all about.
“When it comes to kids this age, it’s about building character,” added Stephenson. “That’s how sports work into the (educational process). The thing I’m most excited about is that is a great atmosphere for kids to be in and we’re hoping we can help enhance the John Bapst experience for the players and bring that kind of culture into the hockey rink.”
Stephenson played high school hockey at Hebron Academy and captained the team in 1996. He went on to play at Division III Connecticut College and played four years there. He was named captain in 2000.
After a brief professional career, Stephenson returned to Hebron Academy where he was the head coach of the lacrosse team and an assistant hockey and football coach, as well as being the dean of students and a math teacher.
Stephenson moved to Bangor in 2008 and is the managing partner of WeeBeez Deli and Market, which owns three variety stores in Bangor. He is also the co-owner of Pepino’s Mexican restaurants.
“His background speaks for itself,” said John Bapst athletic director Rick Sinclair, who chose Stephenson from a pool of six candidates. “He has a strong hockey background and a strong coaching background. He came very highly recommended from the people he worked with at Hebron.”
“His philosophy matches our school’s philosophy. Character building is a big part of our community at John Bapst and he touched on it right off. That’s how he approaches coaching,” added Sinclair.
Stephenson was a former defenseman but said the playing style he will adopt will depend upon his personnel.
“I know enough about hockey to adapt to the players I have,” said Stephenson. “You have to take the personnel you have and work off of that.”
Stephenson and wife Susan have two children, 6-year-old Teddy and 4-year-old Georgianna.
Stephenson’s father had a 328-game NHL career that spanned 10 years. He played for the St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. He was a member of the Flyers’ Stanley Cup championship team in 1975.