Sam Moore, a member of two Class B state title teams at Gardiner High School and a veteran youth hockey coach, has been named the new varsity ice hockey coach at his alma mater.

Moore, 50, replaces Jeff Ross, who stepped down in June to coach at Thomas College.

Moore was a key contributor as a center on Gardiner’s Class B state championships under Norm Gagne in 1981 and 1983. A 1983 graduate, he has coached at the Pee Wee and Bantam levels and served as an assistant coach for former Gardiner teammate and Cony coach Chad Foye at Maranacook for three years in the late 1990s.

Moore’s hiring is pending MSAD 11 school board approval on Thursday.

“Sam is well respected in our area for his hockey knowledge and his ability to work with kids,” Gardiner Area High School athletic director Steve Ouellette said. “He did a great job in his interview and he comes with a wealth of experience coaching ice hockey. He’s coached all of our kids at different levels, so we thought he was the right fit.”

Moore coached his son, 2013 Gardiner graduate, Josh, up through the youth ranks and remained involved in Bantams and the Skating Alliance of Maine.

He continued to follow Gardiner hockey closely after his son graduated and thought the time was right to take his first varsity head coaching job.

“When I heard Jeff had stepped down, it was just something I thought I’d take a run at,” he said. “I thought Jeff did a good job and I was sorry to see him go.”

Moore said his familiarity with the players, and they with him, should help the development of his young but varsity-tested team, which graduated zero seniors.

“I coached a bunch of them throughout the years, either at the Pee-Wee or Bantam level, and I’ve coached against them, also,” he said. “They know me pretty well and know what I’m going to expect when they hit the ice.”

“We’ve got a talented group and some really talented freshmen coming in that can contribute,” he said.

A father of two and electrician with the Maine Department of Transportation, Moore takes over a varsity team that finished 7-11 in 2015. The Tigers finished just .4 of a Heal point behind Greely in the Western B Heal points for the final playoff spot. The Tigers return talented underclassmen such as Kennebec Journal Player of the Year Michael Poirier in goal and senior Logan Peacock, a KJ All-Star honorable mention selection last winter.

Moore wants the Tigers to be an aggressive, attacking team that spreads the scoring around.

“I’m all about taking it to the other team and forcing them,” he said.

He cites Gagne, who went on to win a third state title with Gardiner in 1985, three more with Waterville and his seventh last March with Scarborough, as a major coaching influence.

“He was a hell of a coach and he’s a great motivator,” Moore said. “That’s kind of what I try and do.”

“We all got along really well (on Gagne’s Gardiner state championship teams) and I want this team to know (that) when hockey starts you’re a family,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who gets goals, it’s a matter of results.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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