Wayland High athletic director Martha Jamieson will be the first to admit that the school's varsity boys' hockey program needs a fresh start.
"We've had a tough run," said Jamieson of a program that finished 0-18-2 this past winter competing in the DCL/MVC Division 3.
New coach Phil Bateman will bring a fresh approach.
A former assistant coach with both the UMass-Amherst and UMass-Boston women's teams, and currently a head coach and director of goaltending at Puckmasters in Marlborough, Bateman is ready to get started with the program, which is privately-funded.
"I thought it might be a nice little challenge," said the 34-year-old Batemen, who as a goalie, played Major Junior A hockey in Canada and was twice invited to try out for his country's world junior team in the early '90s. In the 2005-06 season, he directed the Neumann College (Aston, PA) women's program's to a 14-9-2 mark in the ECAC West Division 3 conference.
"I like the idea of getting a grass roots system going, and I found it a real comfortable fit in talking to Martha."
Jamieson said she was impressed by Bateman's "demeanor and his diversified background.
"I am really excited," said the AD, noting that there were six candidates for the position. "He has a blank slate coming in. The players are really excited about [his hiring]. He's a hockey fanatic, but he has a levelness to him, he's even-keeled."
His foundation will teaching and "treating the game cerebrally," he said. "And from talking to a few of the players already, they are ready to work."
Using the rejuvenated football program under Scott Parseghian's direction as a parallel, both Jamieson and Bateman feel that a turnaround in the team's fortunes is possible. "Hopefully, lightning strikes twice," said Bateman.
Bateman, with a degree in exercise physiology from Ohio State University, replaces Sean Carabatsos, who resigned at season's end to pursue a principal's certification.
Jamieson said she will interview five to six candidates for the open varsity boys' basketball position on Thursday.
-- Craig Larson
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