BANGOR – Bangor High School has filled its varsity soccer coaching vacancies.
David Patterson, a native of Ireland who coached the University of Maine women’s team for five years, was hired as the boys coach while Joe Johnson has been tabbed to take over the girls position.
Both hirings were approved unanimously by the Bangor School Board at its meeting Wednesday night.
Patterson replaces Adam Leach, who led the Rams to a Class A state championship in 2006, while Johnson replaces Larry Smith.
The Bangor boys advanced to the Eastern Maine quarterfinals last fall before losing to Hampden Academy, while the girls also fell to the Broncos in the quarterfinals.
Prior to coaching at UMaine, Patterson coached at Division II Lenior-Rhyne College in North Carolina upon coming to the United States in 1990 from Ireland, where he played at the college and professional level.
“From a style perspective one of the most important things is how the team goes forward and how they attack,” said Patterson, who prefers an aggressive style of play in the offensive zone.
“Obviously we’re going to defend tenaciously but being creative as you go forward is a huge part of the game,” added Patterson.
“It’s a very inclusive game, every player on the field is always involved, everybody plays both ways.”
Patterson has lived in Bangor for 13 years and has a son who attends Bangor High, and the school’s athletic reputation along with familiarity with the players were factors that led him to apply for the job.
“I was quite flattered to be considered for the position. I love the idea of coaching within my own community and being a part of the program,” he said.
“I coached a lot of these kids in U-10 [programs], a lot of those kids were on that same group I had a chance to coach when they were much younger.”
Patterson takes over a Rams squad that enjoyed an undefeated regular season last year (13-0-1) and earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Maine playoffs.
“I feel like I’m inheriting a very good situation, a great bunch of kids that understand what’s expected of them at Bangor High School as well as on the field,” he said.
One of Patterson’s main goals is that his players have a true high school experience.
“One of the things I was excited about when my son played a couple of different sports is the quality experience that any young person can have,” he said.
Johnson, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday night, has served as an assistant boys basketball coach under Roger Reed for several seasons. He takes over a Bangor girls squad that finished 10-4 last fall and garnered the No. 5 seed in the regional tournament.