AUBURN —   Matt Andreasen’s roots are in soccer.

He’s played it. He’s lived it. He’s breathed it. Now he’s coaching it.

Andreasen has been named the second-ever varsity coach for the Edward Little boys’ soccer program. The son of long-time Greely coach, Mike Andreasen, he takes over for Dave Morin, who retired after last season.

Morin coached over 30 seasons and collected over 300 wins. His EL teams were consistent winners and playoff teams.

“It’s big shoes to fill,” said Andreasen. “The fact that Dave is the only coach that’s been there. Coming from my house, I have pressure coming from all directions. So it’s something that will push me.”

Andreasen’s father won three state titles with Greely and was influential in helping develop his son’s interest in coaching.

“I was kind of thrust into it because of who my father was, but I really love to coach,” said Andreasen, who teaches at the Sherwood Heights Elementary School in Auburn. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to coach at Edward Little.”

Andreasen  coached the girls’ team at North Yarmouth Academy last fall. That was after a stint as an assistant with the Greely girls. He had intended to return to NYA but thought the EL job was just too good to pass up.

“The potential of the program really intrigued me,” said Andreasen, whose NYA team went 2-12 last year. “When you look at Edward Little athletics, they’re very competitive in just about everything. I look at all that athletic talent they have and think: ‘Why not soccer? Why can’t soccer compete at that level?’”

Andreasen played for his father at Greely and graduated in 2006. He went to the University of Maine, but the men’s soccer program there was cut. He found ways to stay active in the sport, between playing pickup games around Orono and being involved in various forms of coaching.

“I’ve been coaching ever since I was in high school,” he said. “I did a lot of youth camps in the area. I just really developed a passion for working with children and young adults. I really enjoy the competitive atmosphere of coaching. It’s like teaching in a competitive environment, and I enjoy that.”

After a year as an assistant with the Greely girls’ program, he wanted to see how he might do as a head coach at the varsity level. Last year’s season at NYA provided him that opportunity.

“It was just managing game situations,” he said. “I felt strong about my knowledge of the game. You really don’t know how you’ll do until you experience it yourself. I always felt I could run a good solid practice and that I could manage kids well because I teach. I hadn’t really been tested as a coach in a game-like situation. I thought that one year coaching at NYA really helped me develop a philosophy and manage different personalities. It was a great experience.”

He said watching and learning from his father prepared him well also. Mike Andreasen and his Greely program have consistently been one of the best in the state. That not only helped nurture his love of the game but also his knowledge. Matt also served as an assistant to his father with the Gray-New Gloucester girls’ basketball team.

“He’s a fantastic coach,” said Andreasen. “I’ve been so fortunate to grow up in a house that lived soccer. Ever since I was younger, I’ve always been around the technical aspects of the game. Living with a coach, I always learned about different formations and how to manage personalities or what area should be addressed in practice.

“Growing up, most kids just play the game. When I was growing up, I was playing and thinking the game at the same time. I think I ended up having a good mind for the game because of who my father was and being around the sport so much.”

Andreasen will meet with players and parents next Monday at the high school at 6 p.m. He’ll be introducing himself and talking about plans for the summer soccer season.

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