Just 21/2 months after he was hired as men’s varsity soccer coach at Husson College, Per Henrikson has been replaced by women’s coach – and now interim men’s coach – Keith Bosley.
Henrikson was dismissed by Husson Tuesday following several unsportsmanlike and inappropriate actions by the rookie collegiate head coach during Husson’s 1-1 tie against Johnson State College in Johnson, Vt., Sunday afternoon.
“There was some behavior there that I thought was unacceptable and I made a decision to make a change,” said Husson athletic director Gabby Price.
Henrikson was issued a red card for his behavior and ejected from the game.
“That was just part of it. It wouldn’t be what anybody would deem appropriate,” said Price, who said he was deeply saddened by the decision that was made.
Price was asked if any other disciplinary action was considered in lieu of Henrikson’s dismissal.
“I did not see any,” Price said with a very pained expression. “We want nothing but the best for Per… But the possibility that it might happen again made the decision necessary.”
Price said Henrikson, who could not be reached for comment, was very forthright about his actions, actions which prompted Johnson State officials to lodge a complaint.
“Per met with me early Monday morning and was completely honest, telling me word for word what transpired. He was extremely honorable about that and extremely remorseful,” said Price, who also spoke to Husson officials, coaches and players who were at the game. “I wouldn’t want to characterize what his reasons or motivations were.”
A former goalkeeper at Thomaston’s Georges Valley High School and the University of Maine Farmington, Henrikson took over the head coaching job for the Georges Valley boys last year and led the Buccaneers to a 15-1-1 record. He was assistant coach in 2003 and before that, played in professional and amateur soccer leagues in England, Ireland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Costa Rica.
He also served as the Philippine National Team goalies coach (1998-99) and volunteer head coach for the Bhutan National Team that advanced into the 2003 Asian Cup. Henrikson was an assistant coach at the University of Vermont in 2002.
Bosley, whose women’s team is currently 6-4 on the season, discussed the possibility of coaching both teams with Price and other school officials last summer, but the option was ruled out for logistical concerns – concerns which no longer apply.
“I really think we can make it work. We don’t have any conflicts on games or practices. Those are all behind us. If it was two weeks ago, I couldn’t have pulled it off,” said Bosley, who is also Husson’s facilities manager. “There might be a conflict or two in postseason, but even in the first round, they play on different days.”
The men’s team responded well with a 2-1 win over the University of Maine-Presque Isle Wednesday to run its record to 7-4-1.
“The difficulty is the two teams have a different style of play,” Bosley explained. “The women’s team is about high energy, a really paced [deliberate] and controlling kind of game. The men play a high-tempo, aggressive game with a lot of speed.”
Henrikson replaced former coach Scott Warman, who resigned after four seasons to pursue other professional opportunities.