After eight seasons, 83 victories and a Class B state title last spring, David Pearl is stepping down as Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse coach. File photo

YARMOUTH—David Pearl’s eight-year ride as the boys’ lacrosse coach at Yarmouth High School featured too many memories to count and culminated with him celebrating an elusive state championship in most unorthodox fashion.

Pearl, who spent over two decades with the program and coached the Clippers to 83 victories (against 41 defeats), including the 2019 Class B state championship, one he celebrated at Maine Medical Center, has announced he’s stepping away from the program.

“It’s the right time,” said Pearl. “It’s right for me personally and I’m leaving feeling like the program is in a great spot.”

No successor has been named.

Pearl said he made the decision to step down in August and told his returning players in September.

“It’s been a great ride,” Pearl said. “I was very close to last year’s senior class and I have a daughter playing lacrosse at Yarmouth, so I’m excited to see her games this spring.”

Pearl first joined the Clippers in 1999, as an assistant coach under Barry White, then worked with Craig Curry during the  glory years of 2004-10, when Yarmouth won four state championships and lost two other state finals by a single goal.

After serving as the junior varsity coach in 2011, Pearl returned to the Clippers as head coach in 2012.

Yarmouth lost to North Yarmouth Academy in the regional final his first season, then made it to the state game five years running, only to lose to juggernaut Cape Elizabeth teams on four occasions and to a powerhouse Falmouth squad on the other.

“I learned a lot in those years,” said Pearl. “As a fan of the sport, it was great to see it grow. It was exciting to see teams like Falmouth, Scarborough and South Portland get better and win championships.”

After losing by a goal, in overtime, at Brunswick in the 2018 semifinals, the Clippers went all the way last spring, holding off Greely in a memorable Class B state final, 11-10. Pearl wasn’t on-hand, however, as he was hospitalized for an infection at Maine Medical Center, just a couple hundred yards from Fitzpatrick Stadium, receiving updates while frantically updating his social media feed.

“I had a flair for the dramatic,” Pearl said. “Obviously, I would have rather been on the sidelines, but the kids brought the trophy to me. Everything was right.”

Athletic director David Creech, who came to Yarmouth this summer, has been impressed with Pearl, even though he hadn’t gotten the opportunity to see him coach.

“After we talked and (David told me he was stepping down), I said, ‘I understand the reason why you’re doing this, but I’m a little disappointed I don’t get a chance to work with you,'” Creech said. “I really appreciate his approach. What stands out to me is his passion, not just for the sport, but for the kids in Yarmouth. He has grown that program. He’s used his core values he believes in to do it. He doesn’t just provide kids an opportunity to be great at lacrosse, but to be great people too. He’s helped me understand where the program has been and what its needs are for it to continue to be successful.

“He’s a great coach, but an even greater person.”

As for Pearl, don’t expect him to be a stranger, as he’ll always bleed blue and white.

“I think it’s healthy for programs to re-invent themselves, but I know I’ll miss it terribly,” Pearl said. “I loved being with the kids and my (assistant) coaches.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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