Women’s soccer coach leaving a legacy at University of Maine at Fort Kent
FORT KENT, Maine — One day after publicly announcing he was resigning at the end of the month as women’s soccer coach and assistant athletic director at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Lucas Levesque led the team Thursday to a 10-1 victory in the home opener against the University of Maine Machias.
Cameika Davis, a sophomore back on the team, said the Lady Bengals became very emotional when Levesque informed them of his resignation after practice on Monday.
“We all started to cry. It was really sad,” Davis said. “You know when you spend an entire year with someone, they become like family to you. We all have such a good connection with coach. We didn’t expect it at all.”
Levesque is leaving UMFK to take a position as director of coaching for the Rome, Georgia, Arsenal Soccer Club.
The club has close to 1,000 players ages 6-19 who compete at all different levels.
“It was tough. It was tough for sure,” Levesque said Thursday about informing his players of his resignation. “Fort Kent will always be my home, so leaving is extremely emotional. My parents are here. I grew up here.”
Levesque learned of the Georgia position through a mutual friend, who referred him to the executive director of the program.
Levesque and his wife Amy spent three days visiting the town of Rome and came away confident that it would be the right fit for their family.
“The community is not too big but close to everything so the kids will have some different opportunities. It has a little bit of a city atmosphere but more of a hometown coziness,” Levesque said. “We feel the time is right. The career change is something that will help our whole entire family grow.”
Levesque will coach the Lady Bengals for the last time at Saturday’s homecoming game against Fisher College and will stay on for another two weeks to help new head coach Lawrence Simpson transition into the role. Simpson, who is from Kentucky, is expected to arrive in Fort Kent on Friday. He is the former head women’s soccer coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College. The Levesques plan to move to Georgia during the first week of October.
“UMFK is a special place. There are a lot of great people who have put a lot of hard work into growing and building this institution and I want nothing but success for it,” Levesque said. “I’ll still do everything I can, even from Georgia to help this place. My heart will always be with UMFK.”
The Bengal women soccer teams under Levesque have won four consecutive United States Collegiate Athletic Association national championships and six overall in the seven years that UMFK has been a part of the USCAA, according to the university.
Levesque has coached 20 All-Americans, been named the 2015 USCAA Coach of the Year, won two Sunrise Conference Coach of the Year awards, and led his team to five Sunrise Conference titles.