Legendary football coach John Wolfgram will be back on the Cheverus High sideline this fall as the Stags’ defensive coordinator.

Wolfgram had a record of 309-92-1 with 10 state titles in 40 years as a head coach at four Maine high schools. He coached at Cheverus for 10 seasons, retiring in April 2016. The Stags won the Class A championship under Wolfgram in 2010 and 2011.

Cheverus head coach Mike Vance was on Wolfgram’s staff at Cheverus for a decade, serving as the JV coach and Wolfgram’s defensive coordinator.

After being named head coach for the 2016 season, Vance said he often sought advice from Wolfgram and used him as a sounding board in an unofficial capacity. The Stags went 5-5 in Vance’s first season, winning one playoff game before losing to Windham 9-7 in a Class A North semifinal.

“He came to me and asked what I thought about him being the defensive coordinator and I didn’t have to think very long,” Vance said of Wolfgram. “We have a very good working relationship and the mentor and support role has been successful in a lot of places in the league.”

Several former football head coaches have worked as assistant coaches at SMAA schools. Former Thornton Academy head coach Dick Agreste is on Kevin Kezal’s staff at Thornton. Bonny Eagle’s Kevin Cooper employed his father, Pete Cooper, a coaching legend at Lawrence High, for many seasons. At South Portland, former Portland coach Mike Bailey was an assistant for Steve Stinson, who had played for Bailey.

Vance also played for and coached with Wolfgram at South Portland.

“It just makes sense,” Vance said. “Maybe those guys don’t want all the housekeeping chores that come with being a head coach but they want to be involved and they have a lot to offer to a program and a newer head coach.”

Wolfgram did coach last fall – as an assistant golf coach at Cheverus.

“It didn’t cut it for me,” Wolfgram said. “I love golf but not as much as I like football.”

Wolfgram was hired in late spring as a paid assistant football coach, he said.

He was involved “minimally” during summer workouts.

Now, with preseason training camp under way, Wolfgram runs the defensive practices.

“No question. I like working with Mike,” he said.

“We’ve got a good staff and I like working with the kids. He’s the head coach and he’s the guy calling the shots and I’m helping out any way I can.”

filed under: