Dave Morris, who has coached the Brewer High School baseball team for the last 12 years, has resigned from that post and is turning his coaching attention to his home town.
“I’m a Bangor Ram,” said Morris, a 1985 graduate of Bangor High School who resides with his family in the Queen City. “I’ve been at Brewer for 12 years, but this is a chance for me to go home. I’m a Bangor guy, and I’m looking forward to working with Bangor kids.”
Morris, who will continue to teach alternative education in the Brewer school system, had compiled a 135-66 record at Brewer since taking over the Witches in 1999 after three seasons as the head baseball coach at Hermon.
Brewer qualified for postseason play during every season with Morris at helm, winning the Eastern Maine Class A championship in 2008 and advancing to the regional final again in 2004.
The Witches finished 17-3 in 2008, defeating Hampden Academy 7-3 in the Eastern Maine championship game before being outlasted by Deering of Portland 8-7 in eight innings in the state final.
In 2004, a Brewer team led by recent University of Maine star Kevin McAvoy advanced to the regional final before running into Mount Ararat of Topsham star righthander Mark Rogers, who pitched the Eagles to a 4-1 victory over the Witches in front of an estimated crowd of 3,000 at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.
Rogers went on to be the fifth pick in the first round of that year’s Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, and he currently is working his way back up that franchise’s minor league system after having his career derailed by arm problems.
Brewer never failed to have a winning season during Morris’ coaching tenure, and after consecutive 9-8 records in 1999 and 2000 the Witches won at least 10 games per season during Morris’ final 10 years with the program.
Brewer went 12-6 this spring, finishing sixth in the final Heal point ratings and then defeating Lawrence of Fairfield 7-6 in a Class A preliminary-round game before being ousted by third-ranked Cony of Augusta 4-3 in 11 innings in the quarterfinals.
Cony went on to win the Eastern Maine Class A title and will play undefeated Deering in Augusta on Saturday afternoon for the state title.
Morris, who late last summer stepped down as head coach of the Brewer Falcons American Legion baseball team after 10 seasons, is looking forward to coaching athletes from his home town — including his son Dylan, who just finished his sophomore year at Bangor High School where he was the starting catcher on the school’s baseball team.
Morris is serving under Fred Lower as an assistant coach with the Bangor Comrades American Legion team this summer, and has signed on as an assistant coach for the Bangor High football team this fall.
He also has expressed his willingness to help out with the Bangor High baseball team next spring.
“I’ve talked to [Bangor baseball head coach] Jeff Fahey and told him I’d be the water boy, hit ground balls, whatever he’d want me to do,” said Morris.
Morris is grateful for the coaching opportunities he had in Brewer.
“The biggest thing is that I’ve been really fortunate to have been around some wonderful people,” he said. “And when you surround yourself with great people, great things usually happen.”