They didn’t have a Babe Ruth team in Leeds when he was 13 years old, so Dave Jordan helped out on his father’s Little League team. While he was setting baseballs up on a tee during batting practice, a dream was born.

Jordan figured he didn’t have the talent to play much baseball beyond his varsity career at Leavitt High School, but he knew he didn’t have to play to stay involved in the game.

“My senior year I batted, like, .231, but I loved the game and I knew that I needed to learn a lot about the game to be able to teach it,” he said. “A lot of people along the way helped me. My dad and Tom Beckwith of Monmouth were two guys as Little League coaches who probably influenced me the most in terms of learning how to teach the game properly.”

Jordan got his first head coaching job at 19, for the Apple Valley Babe Ruth All-Stars from Monmouth (his roster included current Monmouth Academy varsity coach Eric Palleschi). Now, less than two decades later, he’s considered among the best at his craft, having been named National High School Baseball Coaches Association District I Coach of the Year for 2007.

His record speaks for itself. In three short years, he has taken a rudderless program that was reeling from a financial scandal involving a former coach and turned it into one of the powers Western Class B. This past summer, he led the Mechanic Falls Post 150 American Legion Junior team to a state championship.

He shares the credit with his players, assistant coaches, school administrators and those who have helped him along the way. It would be easy to dismiss those accolades as Jordan being his typically-humble self. But that would be missing the point.

Jordan’s success is a testament to his own perseverance, dedication and his teaching abilities. But it is also evidence that it takes a support system with a little faith and a lot of patience and understanding to help a coach succeed.

Susan Robbins provided the faith. The former Poland Regional High School athletic director hired Jordan even though there was little more on his coaching resume than some Little League and Babe Ruth coaching experience and a stint as the middle school coach at Monmouth Academy.

“It took someone like Susan Robbins taking the chance in hiring me,” Jordan said. “If you just look on a piece of paper and see that I was a middle school coach, not everybody would have taken the chance at hiring me, and Susan was great to do that.”

Getting his foot in the door was the easy part, as it turned out. Since he was hired, there have been countless hours spent at games and practices for the high school, Legion and Junior Legion teams. There have been numerous long days running youth clinics and laying the foundation for future success at Poland. There have been dozens fall and winter afternoons and evenings spent at football and basketball games to support his players in their other endeavors. And there have been hundreds and thousands of miles logged on the road, traveling to coaching clinics and working at baseball training centers so he could learn how to become a better coach.

That kind of time commitment requires a flexible employer, which Jordan is obliged to have in Auburn’s Spurwink School, and an understanding spouse, which he is eternally grateful to have in his wife, Jodi.

“She’s a baseball widow, and it’s not just from March until June. It’s pretty much right through (the year), Jordan said.

“You just need a lot of people that have that understanding that it’s a long process,” he added. “Between Jode and all my friends and family and all of the coaches I’ve had along the way, I’ve had a lot of people that have been willing to help me out.”

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.