In a small trophy case at Edward Little High School, there is a plaque commemorating the Red Eddies’ football team’s run to the Class A state title game in 2002.

“The words on the plaque talk about being unselfish, being a part of a team,” said former Lewiston High School head coach Darren Hartley. “That’s what it takes to be a successful team.”

Hartley, who left coaching in 1999 for the private sector, has slowly worked his way back into the game, last assisting Bill County in Lewiston in 2004.

Now, Hartley has a much bigger task on his hands. Friday, the Lewiston resident was named Edward Little’s head football coach.

“It’s exciting,” said Hartley. “The opportunity at EL gives me more of an opportunity, more of a challenge.”

“We had three great candidates,” said EL athletic director Dan Deshaies, who declined to name the other two. “(Hartley) has so much enthusiasm for kids, and he’s looking to get into the youth program to build the program up.”

Hartley replaces Jim Hersom, who announced his resignation in June after four years as the head coach and seven overall with the program.

Hartley, meanwhile, is a teacher at Lewiston High School, and intends to continue in that capacity this year.

As far as coaching is concerned, Hartley admits he is often flamboyant on the sidelines, and hopes to see that energy flow through the program.

“Today, I am a different coach than I was 15 years ago,” said Hartley. “I wore my emotions on my sleeve, and I was vocal and animated. Today, I’m more of a malign coach. I certainly suspect people will remember me as an animated guy, and I guess I still am, but I think I’m much more collected and calm on the sidelines when I need to be.”

“We feel that this is the start of a real positive coaching staff,” said Deshaies. “He’s such a positive, positive person, and that’s how he coaches.”

Hartley inherits a program that has struggled recently. Hersom and his teams stumbled to a combined 4-20 record the last three years after winning the Eastern Class A title in 2002.

“From everything I’ve heard, there are a lot of good, young kids in the program already,” said Hartley, who plans on meeting with as many potential team members as possible in the coming week. “They have to be able to buy into the system. I believe that to win at football, you have to also be a winner socially and a winner in the classroom.”

Hartley becomes the school’s seventh football coach since 1980. From 1946 to 1980, Edward Little had only two head football coaches: Steve Grenda and Lawrence “Doc” Hersom, Jim’s father. The Red Eddies earned five trips to the state final, winning the Gold Ball four times.

Bob Fallon, John White, Mike Haley, Kevin Callagy, Gene Keene and Jim Hersom followed, but none of those coaches was able to lift the Eddies over the top.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.