Hampden Academy head coach Shane Rogers talks to his team during a 2017 football practice. Rogers has stepped down as the Broncos coach, citing personal reasons. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

Shane Rogers has resigned after three seasons as the head football coach at Hampden Academy.

The former standout player and assistant coach at Husson University in Bangor cited family reasons and the need to spend more time back in his home state of Connecticut for his decision.

“I just felt like it was the best thing to do,” he said. “Honestly, it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but I knew it had to be made.

“I really wanted to stay, but sometimes life sends you in different directions.”

Rogers told his players of his decision last week.

“We are very thankful for the three years Shane served as our head coach,” Hampden athletic administrator Fred Lower said. “Shane was a tremendous role model for our student-athletes, not only as a coach but as a father and a husband. He built strong relationships with our players and coaches and was honored to be a part of the Hampden community.”

Lower said the school already has started to receive applications to fill the coaching vacancy,

“We hope to begin the interview process by the end of this month,” he said.

Rogers replaced Lower as the Broncos’ head coach in mid-2017 after Lower was promoted to athletic administrator. At the time, he became the team’s fourth head coach in as many years.

While Hampden won just two games during Rogers’ head coaching tenure, he believes the program is at a much more competitive level now than it was when he arrived.

“We didn’t win much there but the kids gave me 100 percent,” said Rogers, a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain as a defensive end at Husson who was inducted into that school’s sports hall of fame in 2015.

“When I got there the first year we couldn’t compete with anybody. By the second year we competed with a couple of teams, and outside of one game this past year we competed with everyone.”

Hampden Academy’s football program has struggled since Harry McCluskey retired as head coach after the 2012 season.

McCluskey guided the Broncos to a 45-30 record in his eight years, but the Broncos have gone just 12-45 during the past seven seasons in Class B North, including 1-7 last fall.

“It was a situation where we grew, and while the win column doesn’t say that I think you’re going to see a team that with the right coach in place is going to be OK,” Rogers said. “I hate it that I have to leave after year three, but I think we were starting to build that base, and there are kids coming up that I’m really excited about.”

I think the program’s in a good position and poised to take another step in the next two years. It’s not going to be a huge step, but they’re going to get back to winning here.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...