Jim Hartman has been a fixture on the sidelines for Yarmouth’s football team for much of the Clippers history. Hartman recently announced he’s retiring after winning three state titles. File photo

Jim Hartman, who helped get the Yarmouth football program off the ground and guided it to championship heights before returning the Clippers and leading them to an eight-man state title, announced last week that he’s retiring from coaching.

“It’s just time,” said Hartman. “I’ll be 72 in March and I don’t have the energy to do the job the normal way I like to do it.”

Hartman went 33-20 in his first stint with Yarmouth, from 2007-11, then went 21-15 after returning to the program from 2019 through this season. Hartman also posted a record of 52-22 in his seven-year stint at Portland High from 2012-18, giving him an overall mark of 106-57, which included nine trips to the regional final, six trips to the state final and three Gold Balls.

“It’s been an awesome career,” Hartman said. “I’m humbled.”

Hartman, who was named Forecaster Coach of the Year for football in 2009 and 2021 and for softball in 2005, didn’t plan on a long coaching career, but fate intervened.

“I started 37 years ago when my kids were playing Little Lads (Portland Youth Football) and I was just helping out,” Hartman said. “I never thought I’d coach, but here we are.”


Hartman first coached at Yarmouth when the Clippers left the Developmental League for varsity play and didn’t exactly enjoy immediate success, winning just once in his first two seasons, but Yarmouth turned it around in his third year, reaching the Western C Final, then went undefeated and captured the Class C state title in both 2010 and 2011.

Hartman then coached at Portland for seven seasons, leading the Bulldogs to the Class A state final in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

The next year, with the Yarmouth program struggling for numbers and moving down to the eight-man level, Hartman returned.

The Clippers reached the quarterfinals his first season, then COVID wiped out his second year. In 2021, Yarmouth won just one game, but in 2022, the Clippers returned to glory, beating Waterville in an epic state final to give Hartman his third Gold Ball.

This fall, Yarmouth went 6-1 in the regular season and earned the top seed for the playoffs but were upset by Brunswick in the semifinals, 48-46.

Despite the defeat, the Clippers are back on solid ground.


“I knew the Yarmouth program was in desperate straits and I wanted to get it back up and going, “Hartman said. “I really wanted to get back here and get our youth and junior high and boosters going again. Now, they’re all back. We return plenty of talent. The new coach will have plenty of players. Our incoming classes are very strong.”

“We want to thank Coach Hartman for his years of service to the Yarmouth community and the Yarmouth football program,” said Sarah Holmes, the Clippers athletic director. “Without the dedication and expertise of Coach Hartman, our program would not be where it is today. We wish Coach Hartman a happy retirement and we look forward to seeing him on the sidelines cheering on the Clippers in the future.”

Hartman will be inducted into the Portland High Football Hall of Fame Wednesday and figures to remain close to the game in the years ahead, even though he does plan to do some traveling with his wife, Penny.

His impact on the sport won’t soon be forgotten, especially in Yarmouth, and Hartman will have fond memories of his time on the sidelines.

“It’s all about intensity, passion and getting that through to the kids,” Hartman said. “I’ve had some great assistant coaches along the way. I’ve been really blessed with great players who loved football. My players made me look good.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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