MILLINOCKET, Maine — John Jamo’s been pretty busy this week conducting double sessions with the Stearns High School football team.
But presumably he was going to find time to turn in a signed contract to Frank Boynton, Millinocket superintendent of schools, that officially would make him the Minutemen’s new head coach.
“I’m just waiting for John to turn the contract in,” said Boynton on Thursday morning.
A former Stearns football star and the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, Jamo replaces Chris Preble, who after 13 years as head coach resigned suddenly on Aug. 12 to become an assistant principal and health teacher at Winslow Junior High School.
“We had several applicants, and John was the winner among the applicants,” said Boynton. “That’s where we are now.”
Jamo had been hired early last week for the team’s lone paid assistant coaching job, down from two paid assistants last year because of budget cuts.
“When the assistant coach was hired last week we did not know Chris Preble was leaving,” said Boynton. “We went right ahead and hired him as the assistant coach and worked it out that it authorized him to be able start football practice this week as the assistant coach while we were still in the hiring process.”
Boynton said the school department is advertising to fill the paid assistant football coaching vacancy, and he also expects to soon fill the athletic director position also vacated by Preble.
“Right now, that’s being done by myself and the [K-12] principal [Deborah Levesque],” said Boynton of the athletic director duties, “and the buildings and grounds people are doing the fields. But we’re at that point where I’m hoping that within the next 24 hours I’ll be able to announce an athletic director.”
Jamo, a star running back and linebacker at Stearns, helped lead the Minutemen to an undefeated season and the Class B state championship in 1987.
Jamo went on to play football at Maine Maritime Academy but was been back at his alma mater as defensive coordinator even before Preble was named head coach in 2001.
The combination of Preble and Jamo helped guide Stearns to the 2003 LTC Class C title game and the 2010 Eastern Maine Class C championship.
Jamo will lead this year’s Stearns team into its controlled scrimmage at home against Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield at 4 p.m. Monday. The Minutemen then will travel to Old Town for an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29.
Stearns, 2-6 a year ago in Eastern Maine Class D, is scheduled to open its LTC regular-season schedule Sept. 5 at home against Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln.