AUGUSTA — Eight-year Cony football coach Robby Vachon, who oversaw the program’s transformation from afterthought to state power, has resigned, citing personal reasons.

“I am stepping down from Cony football for personal reasons as well as to further my education,” said Vachon, 46, of Augusta. “I’d like to thank my family, the coaching staff, players — both past and present — and the community for their support. Cony football is strong because of their commitment.”

Vachon, who also recently resigned as an ed tech teacher at the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta, compiled a 40-36 career mark.

Cony athletic director Paul Vachon said Robby, his nephew, “did a lot of great things at Cony.”

“It’s unfortunate for us,” Paul Vachon said. “His record speaks for itself. He accomplished a lot in his tenure. What I have to do now is speak to the administration and see what direction we want to go. Do we want to keep this in-house or do we want to open this up to the world? I really don’t know.”

Cony reached the playoffs in six of the eight seasons with Vachon — a two-time Kennebec Journal Football Coach of the Year selection — at the helm. The fiery Vachon led the Rams to a pair of Eastern Maine title game appearances and the 2013 Class B state championship, a 30-23 come-from-behind victory over Kennebunk. It marked the program’s first victory in a state championship game.

“We accomplished a lot,” said Vachon, a 1986 Cony High School graduate.”It’s been a fun eight years, but the time was right. It’s time. This will give someone a good head start.”

B.L. Lippert, one of the top offensive coordinators in the conference, if not the state, said he will apply for the head coaching position.

“I’m certainly interested,” he said. “I feel as though I have the respect from the administration but you never know who else will apply.”

Cony senior Tayler Carrier, a standout wide receiver for the Rams, said he was surprised to learn of Vachon’s resignation.

“A little bit, yeah,” he said. “I played four years under him and he was a great coach, a great motivator. He always had us ready to play no matter the opponent. It’s going to be hard to find someone who can fill his shoes.”

Vachon, along with 10-year coordinator Lippert, also oversaw the development of record-setting quarterback Ben Lucas, who won the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy in 2013 as the top senior football player in the state.

The 6-foot-4 Lucas threw for 7,700 yards and a state record 89 touchdowns. Lucas, who attends Wagner University in Staten Island, N.Y., threw three touchdowns in the 2013 Class B state game. He threw for five scores in a 48-38 victory over top-seeded Brunswick in the Pine Tree Conference Class B final.

It was that game, Lippert said, that stood out the most with Vachon on the sideline.

“It was our goal from the beginning, to win Eastern Maine,” Lippert said. “The state game was such a whirlwind. So much happened there. But the Eastern Maine game against Brunswick, I’ll always remember the emotion Robby showed that night. … Robby made every day fun. He made every moment fun for the kids and other coaches. I know the kids will be upset but we’ll try to manage this as seamlessly as possible. The program is established so that will help.

Added Lucas, who is yet to be medically cleared for contact after having surgery last summer to repair a torn labrum: “I think a lot of the kids will be sad and hurt. But, at the same time, Robby has always been about Cony football. He’s done so much for the program.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartmtm

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