Saint Dominic Academy hockey coach Bob Parker rallies his players during a time out with minutes left in the regional final against Lewiston in March. Parker is stepping down after leading the Saints to their first state championship since 2000. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

 

Fresh off the first state championship in 19 years, the St. Dominic Academy boys hockey team will be looking for a new head coach.

On Friday, Bobby Parker resigned from the post after four seasons behind the bench where he went 46-30-4. He took over at the beginning of 2015-16 season for Steve Ouellette, who had held the post since 2008.

For Parker, the timing was right.

“It was just time, it was getting tiring, it was a long season, it ended in a good way of getting a championship,” Parker said. “It was just time to move on and give these kids a chance to work with the next coach.”

It was something Parker has been mulling over since the season ended and wasn’t a surprise to the school. Athletic Director J.P. Yorkey said he was glad Parker took his time with it and didn’t make a rash decision coming off the state championship victory over Biddeford.

“I knew it was something he was thinking about when the season got over and I gave him a little time and space, then he made his decision,” Yorkey said. “It’s quite the process being a varsity head coach. It’s very time intensive and he put in a ton of work in over the last four years and did the JV (coaching) prior. It’s quite a job while running your own business, that’s for sure.”

Parker is the President at Capsawn Designs Inc.

Parker also learned a lot while behind the bench of the Saints.

“Well, when you coach high school kids, you are teaching them as well as they are teaching you about things in life,” Parker said. “At St. Dom’s, it was really fun to coach. It was an honor. There’s a lot of tradition and you really have to work hard as a coach to match that tradition to stay a part of it. I thought the four years that I coached, along with my two assistants, Connor Anthoine and Richard Paradis, we achieved that, the championship, the tournament wins this year and the success we had on and off the ice, it meant a lot.”

Parker said whoever takes over as the coach will have to work hard because that’s what the school expects.

Yorkey said Parker did a good job of going the extra mile, putting together team activities such as going to college games and scheduling strong exhibition games. Yorkey liked the passion Parker had for the kids and for the sport.

Out of the 20 players on the roster this year, five of them were seniors. But the Saints could also be losing two juniors as leading scorer William Fletcher and Jacob Lewis both signed tenders to play junior hockey for the L/A Nordiques next year in the Tier III North American 3 Hockey League.

Parker said external factors did play a part in his decision like “strong parental input,” but it was his decision to leave the post.

“There’s always external factors, there’s always them, but at the end of the day, (I) got to decide what’s best for myself and my family,” Parker said.

Yorkey said Parker’s concerns weren’t things that coaches haven’t dealt with before.

“Not anything out of the ordinary, obviously, parents are involved in their kids education and are involved in athletics,” Yorkey said. “Whether it’s our school or any school, it’s part of business. We all understand that.”

Yorkey and St. Dom’s President Donald Fournier will put a committee together and post the job to find the next head coach.

“I do think playing hockey at St. Dom’s is one of the great traditions in Maine high school sports,” Yorkey said. “I think it’s a tremendous opportunity. We are looking forward to the process of finding that next coach.”