I usually write about basketball in my BLOG. But after writing Blogs on Bob Kelley’s Bangor High school baseball legacy on June 23rd and David Morris’s state class A baseball championship in his very first season at the Bangor on August 10th it is time to write one more baseball BLOG about the man in the middle of my last 2 baseball BLOGS on Bangor High school baseball coaches Bob Kelley and David Morris. This man is the Bangor High Coach in the middle is Bangor’s own Jeff Fahey.
Jeff Fahey took over when his high school baseball coach Bob Kelley who retired in 2000 after being 12 years as Kelley’s assistant/ JV coach. It was no small job taking over for his so successful baseball coach who had won 8 state championships and 15 Eastern Maine titles in 32 seasons, but he certainly filled the task very successfully.
Fahey roamed center field for Bangor and for Coach Kelley in 1981-1982-83 winning a state championship in 1982. Fahey was a swift center fielder and was an outstanding defensive center fielders like Leroy Patterson in the 60’s and Paul McCarty in the 70’s. He was a great base stealer as was the other 2 outstanding fleet footed center fielders. He was a threat to go any time he was on base as was Patterson and McCarty.
Fahey made the playoffs 16 consecutive seasons every year he coached at Bangor. He had two undefeated seasons. In those 4 state championship runs Bangor outscored their opponents 104-22. They also had 8 shut outs in 16 games during those championship runs. In 2016 State run they had 2 shut outs in the 4 games.
Fahey won his first state class A baseball championship as a coach in 2006 and then won 3 consecutive state championships in 2014-2015-2016. He also won 5 Eastern Maine championships and was a state runnerup.
He had a 246-50 overall won and lost record for a 83.2 winning percentage and was 29-11 in post season play for a 73.3 winning percentage.
When Morris won the 4th consecutive state championship this year adding to Fahey’s 3 in a row it marked the second time that Bangor has achieved that. The first 4 consecutive streak was accomplished by Jeff’s high school coach Bob Kelley in the late 90’s.
Fahey was Maine Baseball Coach of the year in 2006 and 2016 and was USA’s Maine Coach of the year in 2016.
Dave Morris replaced Jeff when he retired in 2016 after being Fahey’s assistant for 7 seasons.
Jeff Faheys 16 years and 4 state championships got to the half-way mark to his Coaches’ 8 state championships in 32 years. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t retired after the 2016 season.
Jeff Fahey hired 4 assistant coaches, John Tennett, Rob Gould, Fred Lower and David Morris who all played for coach Kelley.
7 former Bangor high baseball coaches have been assistant coaches at Bangor after playing for Bangor High.
Both Jeff and David were quick to state that they used an awful lot of what they learned about playing and coaching from their coach Bob Kelley.
Many successful high school coaches who use what they learned about their sport from their high school coach go on to be very successful because especially in baseball as the game itself has changed little over the past half-century. If it worked when they played it certainly worked when they coached.
As Coach Kelley’s legacy grows each season as his 2 former players give Kelley a great deal of credit for their successes as coaches all of their alma mater.
With Bangor in the past 49 years havng had only 3 head baseball coaches and it is unique that all three played for Bangor High school and have coached Bangor high School baseball to state championships.
Although I am no baseball expert, as a basketball person, I think that if any baseball person was asked what position in baseball makes for the best potential managers for baseball from middle school to the major leagues they would answer, catchers. Then ask what position is the second and I would answer center fielders as they see the ball from their middle of the field position as does the catcher. The catcher sees the ball coming towards him.
Center fielders are lined up with the pitchers and catchers they see the type of pitch thrown and the pitches location. The center fielders sees it is farther away from them with the ball going away from them. However, because they are in the middle of the center of the field like the catcher and because they are expected to cover balls hit to their left or right they get a good look at the spot the ball is so that they can get a big jump on the ball when it is made contact with the bat.
It might prove my point about why center fielders are 2nd to catchers that have the better potential to be head coaches or managers as both Jeff Fahey and Bob Kelley were center fielders and David Morris was a catcher for Bangor as players.
The fact that Steve Vandestine, the 30 plus year Bangor Athletic Director and who himself is a former Bangor High pitcher for coach Kelley, has the experience, knowledge and history how important it is to hire former Bangor high athletes as coaches and no better example is the Bangor High school baseball program.
On a personal note, Jeff reminded me that he student taught under me when I was the Physical Education Department Head and when I taught 3 phys.ed.classes a day at Bangor High in the spring of 1987. A position he currently has held at Bangor High School since 2000.