FALMOUTH—Scott Rousseau, the man behind the always competitive Falmouth boys’ hockey program, most noted for its standout players and agonizing postseason setbacks, has stepped down after 13 seasons and 200 victories as the Yachtsmen’s coach.
“There’s not much to say other than it was becoming way too much,” said Rousseau. ” I have a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old and a lot of days I didn’t want to go anywhere. My wife travels and I was hiring a babysitter so I could go to practice.
“I was there for 13 years. For 12, I had a blast. This year wasn’t always fun. The demand, stress and pressure got to be more and more. Family has to come first.”
Rousseau inherited the Falmouth job for the 1997-98 season and averaged 15 wins a year, leading the Yachtsmen to the regional semifinals or better (in both Class A and B) every single winter.
His first season set the tone as Falmouth went 16-2, then lost in a five-overtime epic to Greely in the semifinals. The following four years saw the Yachtsmen eliminated in two overtimes (Cape Elizabeth, in the regional final), four overtimes (Cape Elizabeth, in the semifinals), two overtimes (Yarmouth, in the regional final) and on a penalty shot with 22 seconds to go in regulation (Yarmouth, again in the regional final).
“Early on, there was a lot of heartache,” Rousseau said. “We had some crazy losses, but I made peace with those. I was able to put it in perspective. That’s why I was able to keep doing it and find joy in it.”
In 2003, Falmouth made it back to the regional final and lost to Cape Elizabeth, this time by the relatively pain-free score of 5-2. After that game, Yachtsmen players were seen throwing their runner-up medals into the stands and the program found itself under scrutiny. Rousseau was placed on probation and had to sit out the opening portion of the 2003-04 campaign, Falmouth’s first in Class A.
The Yachtsmen would comport themselves very well at their new level, making it to the semifinals or better every year, while being cited for their sportsmanship. Rousseau continued to produce top-notch talent, highlighted by Peter Gustavson being named the Travis Roy Award winner, as the state’s top senior player, in 2005.
“We chose to play in Class A, which I’m very proud of,” Rousseau said. “We wanted to play a competitive schedule. We knew a championship would be a reach. It would have been nice to get the big one, but that’s OK.”
In all, Rousseau finished 200-71-11 in countable games. Additionally, his Yachtsmen never lost a New Year’s Day Dudley Cup showdown with Greely.
Falmouth High athletic director Todd Livingston praised Rousseau for his contributions to the program.
“(Scott) has really been the face of Falmouth hockey for 13 years,” said Livingston. “He elevated the program to Class A, where they were successful year-in, year-out. He was instrumental in working with the middle school program and was very helpful when the girls’ program came on board.”
Rousseau lives in Falmouth with his wife Meredith and children, Jackson and Caroline. He runs the Play It Again Sports store in Portland and along with his family, is involved the Rousseau Hockey Clinics.
Rousseau said that he wouldn’t rule out a return to coaching, but that it won’t come until his children are older.
“Maybe a few years down the road I’ll come back,” he said.
Livingston said that a search will begin for Rousseau’s replacement and that time is of the essence.
“It’s important for a new staff to have an opportunity to work with kids this summer,” said Livingston.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.
Scott Rousseau has called it quits after 13 seasons with the Falmouth boys’ hockey team.