FAIRFIELD — Ted Fabian knew his hockey playing days were finished after graduating from the University of New England last spring. He also knew he wasn’t ready to leave the game.

“My entire life, I wanted to stay within the hockey world,” said Fabian, 25, of Oakland.

Fabian will do just that at Lawrence High School, where he was hired to be its next hockey coach.

The Lawrence school board approved the recommendation from athletic director Bill MacManus on Thursday night.

“I can’t wait to get the ball rolling,” Fabian said. “I think I’m prepared. I have a lot to learn, and I know it’s going to be a step up. But I’m ready.”

Fabian replaces Dave Richard, who resigned because of increased job requirements. Richard will serve as an assistant for Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse this season.

“We had a committee that did the interviews and Ted was the best candidate,” MacManus said. “His references came across very strong. He’s a game player, meaning he’s played it before. He’s a practitioner. He’s done teaching at other camps. He’s real excited about trying this out.”

Fabian is a 2006 Messalonskee High School graduate. He won the Travis Roy — given to the top senior hockey player in the state — that year, when he led Class A in scoring with 27 goals and 34 assists for 61 points.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse, Fabian’s high school coach, said. “Lawrence is fortunate to have him. It is going to be different. It’s something that will feel natural for him, but he does have a challenge on his hands. It will be good to see him on the bench again. I think he’ll be successful. I wish him luck.”

Fabian went on to play with the Boston Bulldogs of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League before enrolling at Fitchburg State (Mass.) College.

He transferred to the University of New England in 2010, and served as team captain before graduating last spring.

“When you come to realizing your playing days are over, you look for ways to stay in the game,” Fabian said. “The love of the game brought me into coaching. I originally was going to get into college hockey coaching with (Brad) Holt at UNE. However, when I was home I heard there was an opening at Lawrence and I got right on the application.”

Fabian takes over a Bulldogs team that’s struggled of late in Eastern B. Lawrence went 12-24-1 the last two seasons, including 2-15-1 last season.

“I’ve learned from some of the best,” Fabian said. “I’ll combine my philosophy from what I’ve learned from them.”

Added MacManus: “He’s real excited, and we’re real excited about having him on board.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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