Sean Green directed the Cape Elizabeth High football team to the Class C state championship in 2021 and the Class C South title game last fall. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Sean Green wasn’t sure what he wanted his next step to be.

When the Portland High football coaching position opened up, however, Green had his answer.

Green, 31, was announced as the Bulldogs’ new head coach by Portland Public Schools on Monday. The former Cape Elizabeth coach will take over for Jason McLeod, who resigned in November, and take over a team that reached the Class B state title game last fall.

“We’re extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity as a staff,” said Green, who led Cape Elizabeth to its first football state championship in 2021. “We’re coming and working for a program that has great tradition and great pride.

“To me, it should be the flagship high school football program in the state of Maine, and we’re hoping to be able to build that. They’ve achieved great success under Coach McLeod in the past few years, he’s done a great job with the program, so we feel like we’re taking over a very healthy program and hopefully picking up where they left off.”

Portland went 8-4 last season and lost to Skowhegan in the state final. The Bulldogs will make the move to Class A next season, and Green is happy to be leading them in that transition.


“(It’s) exactly where it should be,” Green said. “I just coached in Class C South, which I would put up Cape and Leavitt the past couple of years against anybody in this state regardless of classification. So I feel like we’re well-prepared as a staff to make the jump. … It’s definitely something we’re looking forward to, and definitely a challenge that we’re excited about.”

Green inherits a team that will bring back Class B South all-stars in running back/linebacker Brayden Wales and receiver/defensive backs Reegan Buck and Hunter Temple, as well as a group of starters including linemen Colin Kelly and Isaak Alkafaji, defensive end/tight end Brody Viola and receiver/defensive back Aidan McGowan.

Green coached the current junior class in seventh grade with the Portland Tide middle school team.

“I’m really excited, to tell you the truth. Me and just about everyone else on the team,” said Wales, a junior. “There isn’t a person on this earth we’d rather have coaching us, to be honest. … We just cannot wait for him to be our head coach. We think that he might very well be the best head coach in Maine.”

Green coached Cape Elizabeth the past four years, including 2020 when tackle football was not played because of the coronavirus pandemic. In that stretch the Capers went 23-8, winning the Class C title two years ago and reaching the C South final last fall.

Green resigned in December, citing a desire to coach at the next level. He said he received some offers from colleges in the Northeast, but didn’t feel convinced that the time was right for the college jump. And with the Portland coaching job available, he had his fit.


“Ultimately, for me and my family and my professional situation, it was time to take that next step. We didn’t know what it was going to be at the time,” said Green, who manages the Fitness Factory, a gym in Portland. “I was really, honestly heavily leaning towards making the jump to the next level for a long time. … I really don’t want to make that jump until it’s the perfect timing.”

At Portland, Green said he will stick to his schemes from Cape Elizabeth, which included a multiple spread option offense that produced a Fitzpatrick Trophy winner in Caden McDuffie in 2021 and a finalist in Nick Laughlin last fall.

“There’s really talent everywhere in the program,” Green said. “It’s not going to be the biggest group in the world, but we’re going to be pretty quick. … It’s a very experienced group that’s almost gotten there a couple of times. I know they’re going to be hungry.”

Wales said he’s eager to see what Green draws up for the team.

“He looks at the game of football almost like a chess board,” he said. “He gets his pieces and knows where to put everyone. … He’s just a really great football mind.”

In a news release, Portland High Director of Athletics Lance Johnson praised Green’s personality as well as his accomplishments.

“Coach Green has an ability to attract coaches and student-athletes to his program,” Johnson said. “He brings unique energy, leadership and a love for the game of football with him to Portland High.”

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