Michael May, who was the Old Town High School boys junior varsity soccer coach and the assistant varsity coach last fall, has been named the head girls soccer coach at the school.
He will replace Chuck Neely, who resigned to pursue an educational opportunity, according to Old Town athletic director Brett Hoogterp.
“Michael always has a positive outlook and he gets things done,” Hoogterp said. “He will build the program in the classiest way possible.”
May was one of four applicants for the job and is an Old Town native with a diverse background.
He played tennis and soccer at Old Town High School and was part of four state Class B championship swim teams under the guidance of coach Dave Ploch.
He went on to earn a history degree from the University of Maine. May was also in the Army ROTC program at Maine and wound up serving four years in the United States Army as an armor officer.
He has also been a pharmaceutical representative, served as an assistant coach at the University of Maine-Machias and been the athletic director at Machias High School.
Last fall, May returned to Old Town and teaches history and world studies at the high school.
“I had such a blast coaching the JV boys last fall and I didn’t want to let go [of coaching],” said the 36-year-old May, a 1996 Old Town High graduate.
“Even though I’ve never been a [varsity] head coach, I feel I’m ready now,” he added. “It’s a huge commitment and I’m very [enthusiastic] about the level of trust they have put on me.”
He said being an officer in the Army gave him “great leadership experience because you had to motivate people.”
May grew up playing “long ball” or “boot and scoot” soccer but he intends to emphasize a possession style of play.
“I’m going to emphasize that we use our quickness and physicality to control the ball and create tempo,” he said. “We’re going to push the ball when we want to. We’ll build out attacks out of the midfield. But we’ll also defend well and create counter attacks.
“When you watch high school soccer, so many goals come off counter attacks,” he noted.
He will also stress fitness.
May, who has coached youth soccer in the past, expects to have a good team next season.
The Coyotes went 7-6-1 during the regular season last fall and were seeded 12th in the Eastern Maine Class B playoffs. They graduated just three players off that team and will have 16 back.
Several are multi-sport athletes.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. It’s a great team for a first-year coach to inherit,” he said. “Sixteen returning players earned varsity minutes last year. We’re going to have some good teams to contend with so we’re going to have to work hard.”
May and wife Amanda have two children, 9-year-old son Conner and 7-year-old daughter Sadie.