Whether he was teaching or coaching, Katahdin High School fixture Bob Dyer was all about having a good time, and spending time with his students, friends and peers recalled Monday.
“He was probably one of the nicest people you’d ever want to work with,” said Phil Faulkner, a longtime colleague of Dyer’s at the Stacyville school.
Dyer, who served as a coach, administrator and teacher at Katahdin High and middle schools for more than three decades, died Friday at age 63.
He had been battling cancer for 12 years.
Katahdin’s girls soccer field is named after Dyer, who led the Cougars to a Class D state championship in 1990, a Class C state title in 1994 while his teams won three other Eastern Maine titles, one coming in Class C and the other two in Class D.
But gold balls and wins weren’t the biggest thing to Dyer.
“He always had time for kids and I think that’s the key,” said Faulkner.
Terry Duffy, also a longtime coach at Katahdin, knew Dyer as a funny, humble kind of guy.
“His unique sense of humor I guess was probably the first thing that stood out,” Duffy said. “Bob was quite a jokester, fun to be around, upbeat, positive, always optimistic about everything.”
Dyer became the Katahdin athletic administrator in 1995 when Faulkner left that position, and Faulkner later followed in Dyer’s footsteps and retook the job when Dyer retired in 2004, the same year the Katahdin girls’ soccer field was named after him.
Dyer was a physical education teacher at the school, and was praised for running a strong program. He also built an outdoor skating rink at the high school for his students to use, while also going out on his snowmobile and making trails around the school so students could ski or snowshoe.
“He loved kids, kids loved him, he did a lot for them,” Faulkner said. “It didn’t matter what it was, he was willing to do it.”
Dyer’s wife, Patsy, was also a teacher in the Katahdin system for many years, and the two were always regarded highly throughout the community, Faulkner recalled.
“He was liked by everybody he touched, especially the students, and he did so much and was honored many, many times,” Falukner said, “and the people in the community expressed their thanks for what he had done. His family was the same way, easy to get along with.”
Dyer would continue to do the little things around the school even after he became sick, such as clearing off the ice-skating rinks at the elementary and high schools so that the kids could use them.
All three of Dyer’s daughters, Jaime, Jodi and Jinger, played soccer for him, and Faulkner said that Dyer’s teams were always well-coached.
“He was old school, he expected his teams to perform and he wasn’t a screamer or yeller, but he wasn’t a pushover either,” Duffy said. “I know he used to have spaghetti suppers over to his place all the time when they had a big soccer game, and I know the girls responded very well to it.”
A member of the athletic Hall of Fame at the University of Maine-Presque Isle, Dyer was also a registered Maine guide, and enjoyed spending time in the woods, even though his friends teased him about never had much luck hunting.
“We called him no-deer Dyer, but he certainly knew where the deer were,” Faulkner said.
But that was all strictly in fun.
“It was kind of a running joke we had with Bob,” Duffy said.
Dyer was also had a great work ethic and attitude.
“Bob never got upset or anything, I found him very easy to work with, easy to talk to,” Duffy said. “That’s the way he was as a coach, as an AD, and to work with, he just knew what to say I guess in just about any situation.”
A celebration of Dyer’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Katahdin Elementary School in Stacyville. Donations in his memory may be made to the Bob Dyer Education Scholarship or Celebration of Life Community Fund, P.O. Box 171, Sherman, ME., 04476.