Jon Shardlow, who coached his alma mater Waynflete to a Class D and a Class C girls’ soccer state championship during his five years at the school, is leaving to become the new girls coach at Falmouth High, The Forecaster learned Thursday.
Shardlow, a graduate of Waynflete and Manhattanville College, went 67-13-2 with the Flyers, leading them to the 2004 Class D crown, and after moving up a class the following year and falling agonizingly short on three occasions, guided them past nemesis NYA and into the Class C title game last November, which Waynflete won, 4-1, over Orono.
Falmouth is the defending Class B state champion.
“To take over a program like Falmouth offers a bunch of opportunities,” Shardlow said. “To be involved with developing players offers a unique opportunity. Falmouth has a deeply-rooted tradition and a great deal of pride in both the boys’ and girls’ programs. That was such a draw.”
Falmouth athletic director Todd Livingston said that Shardlow was the hiring committee’s overwhelming favorite.
“I’m excited,” Livingston said. “Philosophically, he’s a good fit for our program. He has a proven track record and an impressive resume. He brings an educational piece to the coaching position.”
Shardlow replaces Deb LeBel, who stepped down because she and her husband, Mike, who coaches boys’ lacrosse at Falmouth, are expecting a baby.
Shardlow, who also coached the South Portland boys’ program for eight seasons, said that leaving Waynflete wasn’t an easy decision.
“I had mixed emotions,” he said. “I feel like I was given the opportunity to be the guardian of a program that had success before me and will have success after. Helping in the move to Class C was a unique opportunity as a coach and an alum. The pride I have in the school coupled with what we did in my time there was a great experience.
“It’s hard to stack anything up against that. I had a classy group of girls. It was an enjoyable experience.”
Waynflete athletic director Ross Burdick said he was sad to see Shardlow depart, but that he’s excited he’ll have an opportunity to take over arguably the premier girls’ program in the state.
“It’s definitely a tough loss for the program and for Waynflete,” Burdick said. “Jon carried on a rich tradition and had great success competitively and with sportsmanship. He’s been a great caretaker of the program. He’ll be missed.”
Pick up next week’s Portland and Northern editions for more on this story.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mhoffer