LISBON — Dave Moulton remembers when he was a little kid, watching the Lisbon football team play. He was such a big fan that when the team lost, it felt like he was losing too.

Dozens of years and hundreds of players later, Moulton, a longtime Lisbon assistant coach, still gets those same feelings right alongside his Greyhounds.

Moulton is one of three assistant coaches on head coach Dick Mynahan’s staff. They all have different stories, but they have a common thread: They’re Lisbon men, through and through.

“All three of my coaches played at Lisbon, and that’s certainly a big help,” Mynahan said. “They all believe in the program.”

Moulton played long enough ago that he doesn’t care to pinpoint exactly when it was, but it most definitely pre-dates Mynahan’s 30-year tenure.

The other two assistants, Chris Ridley and Chris Kates, both played for Mynahan, graduating in 1997 and 2005, respectively.


And they’re both part of Lisbon football’s extended family. Moulton is Kates’ father’s uncle, and Kates played for Moulton when he was the middle school coach. Ridley’s older brother, Randy was one of Mynahan’s top assistants for years. And Ridley’s late father once coached with Moulton.

“Coach Moulton, I’ve known since I was a kid,” Ridley said. “And Coach Kates, I played football with him in a men’s league and I’ve watched him play over the years. It’s been really great learning offense from him because I got to do that with JV a lot.”

Kates brings a lot of what Mynahan calls “outside experience” to the team. Aside from his time with the Greyhounds, Kates also played collegiately for Maine Maritime Academy, and for the semi-pro Maine Sabers. He joined Mynahan’s staff four years ago after four years with the middle-school program before that.

Moulton made the jump up from his longtime middle-school post two years ago, and Ridley joined the staff five years ago.

“It’s been a good group of guys,” Moulton said. “We know what we have to do out here, and we work together — he does that, I do this — and we all do different jobs like that. It’s been really great working with those guys. Coach has the kids prepared — these guys do too. That makes a good coaching staff, when everybody gets along.”

That all three assistants have learned from Mynahan has helped them get along, working toward the same goal.


“He’s always someone that I’ve had a ton of respect for. Obviously his success speaks for itself,” Kates said. “But there’s a lot of things that you don’t appreciate when you’re a player. You don’t see the preparation and all the things that go on behind the scenes. And I think that’s really where he excels is, I don’t think there’s a coach in the state that outworks him. Every Sunday, he’s meeting for multiple hours with his coaches, and then he’ll go watch film for the rest of the day. Just the overall effort that he puts into the coaching is really amazing.”

Mynahan said those Sunday meetings are where the coaches really get a chance to make their mark. He said they don’t have to put in that kind of commitment, but they do. Sundays are a chance for everybody to bring ideas, and then they get the week to prove the merits of those ideas.

“He still questions you, but you prove yourself to him and he’ll be excited,” Ridley said.

“Any time the head coach expresses confidence in you it’s always a good feeling,” Kates said. “But everything that we do, though, it’s a part of his overall system. We’re not making decisions without him in the back of our heads.

“We’re usually all on the same page, so any decisions that we’re making, it’s really a direct reflection of what we think he’d probably be doing as well.”

Mynahan, as he always does, preached humility when talking about giving his assistants a voice.


“I’m not the smartest guy in the world,” Mynahan said. “I’m certainly willing to listen to other people, and very fortunate when people can offer me a suggestion that works.”

Things haven’t always gone smoothly for the staff. Kates said there have been some trying times, but Mynahan always brings things back together. But mostly it’s been peaceful.

“Any time you’re having success, it makes for a fun season,” Kates said.

The season still has one more game, and it’s the biggest of them all. Ridley said he’s had some long nights watching film on Maine Central Institute — not to mention with his newborn baby. Kates — who has followed this year’s senior class every step of the way since their seventh-grade year — is instilling in the team about focusing just on football this week, and not all the hoopla involved with Championship Saturday. And Moulton is just trying to reel in his emotions, with his beloved Greyhounds making it back to states.

Mynahan has been through the ringer of the state final four previous times — three of those wins — and has 209 wins to his name.

Saturday is his last game, win or lose, and he’ll need his assistants to help him go out in style.

“Your assistant coaches really do a lot for you, there’s no question about that,” Mynahan said.

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