Two years ago, as her twin children were entering their freshmen years at Dover High in New Hampshire, Barb Marois thought about stepping down as York High’s field hockey coach.

“But I wasn’t ready to do it,” said Marois. “The time wasn’t right.”

Apparently it is now.

Marois, who took over a struggling Wildcats field hockey program in 2000 and turned it into one of the state’s best, has resigned as York’s field hockey coach so she can watch her children, Zach and Kylie, compete at Dover. She leaves with a career record of 258-48-10, four Class B state championships and 12 regional titles. Only twice in her 18 seasons did the Wildcats not make the regional finals.

Marois was inducted into the U.S. Field Hockey Association Hall of Fame in 2004. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1986 and was a member of the U.S. national field hockey team from 1986-96, playing in two Olympics (1988 and 1996). She retired from playing after the 1996 Atlanta Games, settled in Dover, and became a high school field hockey official. Then, in 2000, Ted Welch, then the York athletic director, asked her if she would be interested in coaching his team.

“It’s been a great experience for me,” said Marois, who is a wellness teacher at York Middle School. “I’m proud of what York field hockey represents and thankful to everybody, not just the girls but the parents, the colleagues, everyone who helped along the way.”

York has played in the last five Class B state championship games, winning three in a row (2014, 2015, 2016) with a winning streak that reached 58 games. York lost to Maine Central Institute, 5-0, in last fall’s state title game.

Marois, 55, called the decision to leave extremely difficult. But she wanted to be able to watch her children play: Kylie is a goalie on the Green Wave field hockey team; Zach has played soccer, been in the marching band and may run cross country next fall. Marois may join the Dover coaching field hockey coaching staff, though nothing is set.

“I guess there’s two sides to it,” said Marois. “On one side, yeah, I’d love to be part of it. The other side is maybe it needs to be her thing. We’ll see how it all plays out.”

Marois said she spoke with York Athletic Director Andrew Wood about possibly returning for the 2020 season, after her children graduate.

“I hope so,” said Marois. “But it’s two years away and you can’t really predict how things will play out.”

Wood certainly hopes that’s the case.

“Two years is a long time but there is definitely a hope for both Barb and the school district that we would like to see her return in two years and continue the great work she’s done. It could change on her end but it’s something we talked about.”

Wood said he certainly leaned on Marois in his four years at York. “Since I came in, I’ve learned more from her than she’s learned from me. If you were to go to any high school coach to ask how to start a program from scratch, she’s the person you would go to first.”

Marois takes no credit for the Wildcats’ success, placing it firmly on the players.

“The girls were always willing to put in the work,” she said. “They just bought in. And, I think, as a product of our success, the girls at the younger levels saw what was happening at the high school and wanted to be part of it and knew the work it takes. I’ve been fortunate to have those players and teams along the way that motivated the younger girls along the way.”

But Lily Posternak, perhaps the best player Marois coached at York, said Marois was a huge part of her success. Posternak, a member of last year’s U.S. U-19 national team, is a freshman at Duke. Posternak holds the York career record for goals (88) and assists (57).

“She was such a substantial figure in my career,” said Posternak. “I’m so thankful for everything she’s done for me. She was always pushing me to be the best player and best person and best student I could be … I know she’s left quite a mark on the York field hockey program, and the school in general.”

Kennebunk Coach Kayla Billings said Marois “created her own dynasty there.”

“It was always exciting but also it was a bit intimidating to go against Barb because she had such an amazing reputation,” she said. “They were consistent high performers every year so you knew it was going to be a challenge every time you played.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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