HERMON, Maine — After taking a year off from coaching baseball to spend time with his young family, Aaron Brideau couldn’t resist getting back in the game.
He’ll do that at Hermon High School, where he was approved this week as the Hawks’ new varsity baseball coach.
Brideau, who brings coaching experience from both the college and American Legion baseball levels, was one of eight applicants considered to replace Doug McGinley, who left the post after six seasons due to job considerations.
“Doug did a great job here working with the kids,” said Hermon athletic administrator Paul Soucy. “We’re going to miss him, both as a coach and because he’s such a good guy.
“But we’re fortunate to get someone like Aaron who has Legion experience and has played and coached in college and been a pitching coach at the college level. We’re very pleased.”
Brideau, who is employed in the IT department at Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, is a 2005 graduate of Husson University in Bangor where he played baseball under former Eagles’ coaches John Kolasinski and Dr. John Winkin.
He went on to coach with good friend Jason Folsom with the Hampden-Hermon entry in American Legion Zone 1, then joined the coaching staff at Husson under current coach Jason Harvey in 2008.
Brideau served as the pitching coach for the Eagles and also was involved in the team’s conditioning program as well as recruiting in Canada.
Brideau remained in that role until March 2012, when he and wife Courtney were expecting their second child.
“It was a situation where I needed to be a little closer to my family,” Brideau said.
But when the Hermon job opened up this winter, Folsom suggested it might be the perfect spot for Brideau to resume his coaching career.
“He mentioned the job to me and said it would be a good fit,” said Brideau. “It would be less travel, and I still love the game and wanted to be involved.”
Brideau was one of five applicants interviewed for the post.
“I always envisioned coaching at some level,” said Brideau, the father of 3-year-old daughter Isabelle and 8-month-old son Sebastian. “I always wanted to go back.”
Hermon graduated eight seniors from the 2012 team that advanced to the Eastern Maine Class B preliminary round and finished the season with an 11-6 record.
“We’ve only got four seniors, so it’s pretty much a clean slate for everyone,” said Brideau. “The kids in the program are new to me, and I’m new to them.”