Nokomis won the Class B state field hockey championship last fall under Katie Thompson, one of the best coaches in the state and the president of the Maine Field Hockey Association. Recently, Thompson announced she won’t be back in either role this season.
Thompson, a science teacher at Nokomis, is also leaving that position to accept a job with Great Schools Partnership, a Portland-based organization.
“It basically works with schools on school improvement initiatives through things like school coaching, professional development, that sort of thing,” Thompson said.
The travel involved with the job made it impossible for her to continue as a coach, Thompson said.
“The job itself is demanding in terms of travel,” she said. “Sometimes you’ll have to plan week to week where you’ll be.”
In 11 seasons at Nokomis, Thompson won 117 games and coached the Warriors to state titles in 2010 and 2013. She plans to stay on the MFHA board as a co-past president with Mt. Ararat coach Krista Chase.
“For us as a school, Katie’s way more than a field hockey coach,” said Nokomis principal Mary Nadeau, also a former field hockey coach at Nokomis. “She’s an outstanding teacher, and she’s become a leader in the school community. So we’re losing a lot. Katie’s just a really passionate person with whatever she does. No matter what she does, she’s going to bring her â€˜A’ game.”
Thompson said she had a short team meeting with her players recently to inform them she would be stepping down as coach.
“We talked about how we have a lot of good memories, how it’s a difficult decision for me to make, but it’s best for me at this point in my career,” Thompson said.
While emphasizing that she is excited about her new job, Thompson said there is a lot she’ll miss about coaching.
“I think the thing that I love about coaching and the thing that I’ll miss the most is the interaction with the student-athletes,” she said. “I feel like our team did a great job of balancing when to be hard at work and serious, and when to have fun and have a good time with each other. I feel like I’ve had a lot of support from the administration and the community. The field hockey community has been kind of my extended family.”
“Katie’s made it student-centered,” Nadeau said. “It was about the students’ success. It wasn’t about any personal goals for her. The players knew that. They knew she was invested, and she was working hard for them.
“She’s a highly motivated person,” Nadeau added. “I really respect her personal courage. Sometimes people sit in the background and chirp, but Katie’s willing to step up into leadership roles and just bring positive energy to something.”