FALMOUTH—Cooper Higgins, a fixture in the Falmouth school system since Richard Nixon was in the White House, announced last week that this school year will be his last.
Higgins, who has spent 27 years, including the past five, as the athletic director at Falmouth High School and 44 total years as an educator, coach and administrator, will have used up the five years approved by state law for a retired teacher to serve in an administrative position.
Higgins served as the high school’s physical education teacher, coached the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams (he led Falmouth to Class C championships in 1986 and 1987) and also coached girls’ soccer and tennis and directed all intramural activities.
“(Time) goes so fast,” Higgins said. “I could spend days reflecting. I made $6,000 my first year (1972). I have no idea how I lived on that.”
Higgins’ time as athletic director saw Falmouth grow from a Class C school into one that now competes in Class A. He was an influential member of the old guard of Western Maine Conference ADs and was recognized on multiple occasions by his peers.
Susan Robbins, now in her 11th year as the athletic director at Yarmouth, said that Higgins won’t be forgotten.
“Cooper Higgins, aka Mr. Falmouth, has been a wonderful colleague for many years,” Robbins said. “Cooper began his career in athletic administration before I was born over 40 years ago. The job of an athletic director has evolved. The institutional knowledge and historical perspective he has can never be replaced.
“To say that there are big shoes to fill in Falmouth is an understatement. Cooper has always been a staunch advocate for Falmouth students and the Falmouth community and will truly be missed. I have worked with Cooper for many years and consider him a friend. I can always depend on him for sage advice and a good laugh. I am sad to see Cooper retire, but am happy for he and his family. I hope the Falmouth community will find a way to keep him involved in their athletic program, as he bleeds blue and gold.”
According to the Falmouth Schools website, a search for a new athletic director will begin this month.
Cooper Higgins has been a fixture at Falmouth High School since the early 1970s. He recently announced that his lengthy career will come to a close at the end of the school year.