Eric Ouellette has been approved as the new varsity football coach at Massabesic High.

Ouellette was an assistant the past two seasons on Brooks Bowen’s staff. Bowen resigned in March.

Ouellette, 34, is a 2002 graduate of Biddeford High and a 2007 graduate of the University of Maine. He is the head of the guidance department at Massabesic, where he has also been an assistant coach for basketball and outdoor track. He brings a significant amount of coaching experience to the Mustangs’ program.

A four-year member of the Maine football team as a tight end and offensive lineman, Ouellette was a student-assistant coach for the Black Bears in 2006 and then had assistant coaching jobs at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania; at Northeastern University (2008-09); and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2010-13).

While at RPI, Ouellette earned a master’s degree in school counseling, got married and became a father, prompting his decision to return to Maine.

“It’s really been a whirlwind of coaching jobs that I’ve had,” Ouellette said. “I’m really excited to take on my first head coaching job.”

“We’re very lucky to find a coach with his experience, and he was involved in recruiting at those schools, which doesn’t hurt,” said Massabesic Athletic Director Brendan Scully. “He’s a guidance counselor at the school, and good coaches are always in the hallways talking to kids and trying to attract kids to the program, and that’s a key piece.”

Massabesic went 3-21 in Bowen’s three seasons but did finish the 2017 season with consecutive wins. The 2017 roster had only six seniors.

“Eric was the head freshman coach, and with our numbers so small, he spent a great deal of time with the varsity,” Bowen said. “He knows where the program’s at, where it’s headed, and he’s in the school, which is certainly a bonus. He’s dedicated and organized.”

“Coach Bowen did an excellent job holding the program together,” Ouellette said. “What is very promising is we have 60-plus kids between the sixth and seventh grades and they’ve won all the youth championships, so the primary focus is to build a relationship to bridge that gap and get those kids to continue playing when they reach the high school.”

Ouellette’s appointment was approved Wednesday at an RSU 57 school board meeting.

Ouellette is the son of Biddeford High track and field and University of New England cross country coach Ron Ouellette.

“A lot of my coaching and philosophy stems from growing up around a coaching family,” Ouellette said.

While in high school, Ouellette played football for current Biddeford Coach Brian Curit, as well as basketball, and he was an accomplished shot putter, winning the Class A title as a senior. He captained all three sports and earned a football scholarship to Maine.

Ouellette said he will continue to seek advice from coaching mentors like Curit, former UMaine coach Jack Cosgrove, and Massabesic assistant principal John Morin, who coached the Mustangs to the 2000 Class A title when Ouellette was a junior at Biddeford.

“One thing I’ve learned is that I don’t know everything about football,” Ouellette said. “I have had a lot of coaching experience and great coaching examples, and you don’t progress if you don’t ask questions.”