BREWER, Maine — Ben Poland was comfortable in his most recent post as the boys soccer junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant at Orono High School.
But the chance to run his own program again — and at the Class A level — was too good to pass up.
Poland has been named the new boys varsity soccer coach at Brewer High School, replacing Mark Savage, who stepped down after last season.
“I’m very excited to be back at the varsity level, and I’m excited to be at Brewer,” said Poland, who was the girls varsity soccer coach at Hermon High School from 2007 to 2009. “I’ve never coached at the Class A level before. I’ve coached in Class B and Class C, and I’m definitely looking forward to this opportunity.”
Poland, a 1998 graduate of Hermon High School, went on to play at Husson University in Bangor in 1998 and 1999, helping that team win two conference championships and earn two regional postseason berths.
He served as boys soccer junior varsity coach and varsity assistant at Hermon from 2002 to 2007 before accepting the girls varsity post. He also coached track and field at Hermon from 2002 to 2009.
Poland spent the last two seasons working under Waldo Caballero at Orono, which advanced to the Eastern Maine Class C championship match in both 2010 and 2011.
“I was very happy at Orono,” he said. “They have such a good program there, and that made it a tough decision.”
Brewer is coming off a 3-11 season last fall.
“I’m learning more and more about the team as time goes by,” said Poland. “They’ve had a couple of rough years, but we’re looking to turn it around.”
Poland already has met some of his players and is looking forward to the start of preseason practices on Aug. 13.
“It’s a clean slate for everybody, and I’m excited to get going,” said Poland, who has served with the Maine Air National Guard since 1999. “As a JV coach, the responsibility of the job has been to teach skills and footwork and how the game is played, and I’m hoping to bring that to Brewer.”
Poland will be assisted on the sideline by Ryan Pelletier, a Brewer High School alumnus who went on to play at the University of Maine-Farmington.