AUGUSTA — Cony High School has found its new head football coach, and it did not have to look too far to find him.

B.L. Lippert, a former quarterback with the Rams who has served as an assistant coach at his alma mater for 10 years, was approved by the Augusta school board Wednesday night to take over the position previously held by Robby Vachon. Vachon, 46, announced his resignation on Sunday, April 26 after eight seasons at the helm of the Rams, citing personal reasons.

“Some people think I’ve been dying for this opportunity for a while and I could have gone on as Robby’s assistant for a long time,” said Lippert, 33, who also teaches AP Government at Cony. “It’s not something that I was necessarily craving. I had a blast coaching with him. Since he’s not there I felt it was the right time for me to step up to that position.

“It’s an exciting time, that’s for sure. It’s been pretty exciting for the last few years. We’ve been pretty successful and we’re hoping to build off that success moving forward.”

Added Cony athletic director Paul Vachon: “I don’t think there’s anyone that knows our system better than B.L. He’s been around now for I believe 10 years. He teaches in the building, he knows the kids, and I really don’t believe there’s a better candidate out there. I just think it’s a great hire for us. We’re very excited to have B.L. Lippert be our next varsity football coach.”

Cony junior Reid Shostak said Lippert is a serious coach who expects a lot from players.

“He’s a pretty serious guy,” Shostak said. “He’s a great coach. He’s extremely smart and knows the game. I like him. We’re going to miss coach (Vachon), but we’re excited about B.L. as head coach.”

Lippert has played an integral role in the Rams’ achievements over the past decade, serving as the team’s offensive coordinator and designing one of the more imaginative attacks in Pine Tree Conference B. His spread-style offense put Luke Duncklee — and later Ben Lucas — in a position to break many of the school passing records Lippert himself owned when he graduated in 2000.

Cony averaged just less than 40 points per game in the playoffs with Lucas at the helm in its run to its first-ever state title in 2013, including a 30-23 win over Kennebunk in the Class B championship.

“When I first started the head coach, Tom Hinds, had a bit of a say in what style of offense (we ran),” Lippert said. “Under Robby, he sort of let me do whatever I wanted to so it’s been kind of whatever I saw fit based on the talent that we have.”

Lippert said he plans to continue to run the offense as the team’s head coach. His first challenge will be to find who will replace senior Mitchell Caron at quarterback.

“We have a couple of wide receivers that are baseball guys that can throw the ball well — Anthony Brunelle, Taylor Heath — and we’ll see how it works out in seven-on-seven (summer sessions),” Lippert said. “We’ve certainly got to get some of those guys some reps because the line of succession isn’t as clear it was as last year.

“We knew when Ben graduated Mitchell was going to take over. At this point it’s a little up in the air. We have some ideas, but we’ll need to confirm those over the summer.”

Mt. Blue coach Jim Aylward praised the hire, saying Cony is “on the right track.”

“It’s awesome,” he said. “I am still new to the league, but I know he was a big part of their offense.”

Brandon Terrill will return as well for the Rams for his second year as the team’s defensive coordinator. Cony struggled on the defensive side of the ball early on last season, but by the end of the fall it had become one of the team’s strengths.

“Last year was his first year and I thought he did an outstanding job,” Lippert said. “We’ve spoken and I’ve told him he’s got free reign to do what he wants defensively. He’s a really sharp guy and a hard-worker, and I have the utmost confidence in his abilities.”

The Rams — who are still in the market for an assistant to coach the junior varsity — should be in good shape to remain a contender in PTC B next season under Lippert, as the team returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense. Even still, the soon-to-be first-year head coach said it will be an adjustment without Vachon on the sideline.

“It’s a good group to come in but it’s going to be tough without Robby,” Lippert said. “It’s an adjustment period for the kids, myself and the staff so I’m not sure if it’s ever a good time (to replace a head coach), but with this group we feel pretty confident.”

Sports editor Bill Stewart contributed to this report.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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