Ten influential sports and education figures from around the state comprise the eighth class of the Maine Principals’ Association’s Hall of Excellence that will be inducted during a virtual ceremony Thursday.
The MPA Hall of Excellence seeks to honor the accomplishments of individuals who have made significant contributions in the following categories: school administrators, athletes/activity participants, coaches/advisers, officials and other contributors who have had a statewide impact on education-based activities.
This year’s inductees are contributor Mary Cady, administrators Jeanne Crocker, Art Greenlaw, Dennis Kiah and Allan Snell, coaches David Halligan Jr. and Rod Wotton, athletes Leroy Patterson and Meredith Bradley-Bickford, and official Sue Weatherbie.
Cady has been one of the state’s foremost track and field and cross country organizers for three decades. An NCAA, high school and USA Track and Field master-level certified official, her duties over the years have ranged from calling results into newspapers to directing conference, regional and state championship meets. She served as the meet director of the Penobscot Valley Conference-Eastern Maine Indoor Track League from 1994 to 2017.
Crocker is a former MPA president and assistant executive director who during her career in education spent 28 years at South Portland High School, including 13 years as principal. She was named Maine’s principal of the year in 2003. She also served as interim superintendent, director of school management and assistant superintendent for the Portland School District.
Greenlaw also is a former MPA president as well as a school administrator, athletic director and longtime coach. He guided the Stearns of Millinocket football team to state championships in 1982, 1984, 1987 and 1995 and also coached at Skowhegan, Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln and as an assistant at Husson University. He was vice president of the Maine Football Coaches Association and was a representative for three years at the Sports Done Right Institute at the University of Maine.
Kiah is a longtime teacher, coach, assistant principal and athletic administrator with stops at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Hermon and Brewer high schools. He taught for 19 years before moving into administration and over the years has been an influential athletic director who has served on the MPA athletic administrators advisory committee and the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s mentoring committee. Kiah also has been Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association president and president of the Penobscot Valley Conference, whose baseball player of the year award is named in his honor.
Snell spent five decades as a school assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and then as superintendent with the Brewer School Department and schools in Orrington, Orland and Dedham. He also has been active in the sports realm as a coach, a founding father of the Brewer PAL football program and as a football official who has served as the Maine Association of Football Officials secretary/treasurer and liaison to the MPA football committee since 2000. He also has been a staff member of the Northern Maine high school basketball tournament since 1977 and serves as co-director of that event.
Halligan, a 1970 Falmouth High graduate, returned to his alma mater to become one of the state’s top basketball and soccer coaches. He has guided Falmouth’s boys soccer program to 12 state championships, 13 regional crowns and 14 league titles. In basketball, Halligan’s teams have won six state championships and 11 regional titles. Between the two sports he has coached teams to more than 1,000 victories. He was named the 2020 National Federation of State High School Associations coach of the year for boys soccer.
Wotton is one of the most successful coaches in Northeast high school football history, compiling a 348-73-3 record with 21 state championships, 17 in Maine and four in New Hampshire. Wotton guided Marshwood High School of South Berwick to 17 state titles between 1966 and 1992 while becoming the only Maine high school football coach to capture gold balls in all four classes — all at the same school. He also led the Hawks to a 45-game winning streak that ended during the 1987 playoffs, which at the time was the longest in the country.
Patterson, who will be honored posthumously, is considered one of Maine’s greatest schoolboy athletes. The 1962 Bangor High School graduate was a two-time high school All-American as a halfback and defensive back in football for the Rams, a star outfielder in baseball and a two-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine choice in basketball. He went to the University of Cincinnati and was named most valuable player of the school’s freshman football team, and later starred on Maine’s semi-pro basketball circuit. He also was a longtime umpire, referee and youth sports volunteer.
Bradley-Bickford was a standout in field hockey and softball at Skowhegan High who went on to play both sports at the University of Southern Maine and earned induction into that school’s Husky Hall of Fame. Bradley-Bickford has spent the last 20 years coaching at the youth, middle, high school and collegiate levels, including a stop back at USM where she also was an assistant athletic director. She is the assistant field hockey coach and head girls lacrosse coach at Gorham High.
Weatherbie was a founding member of Maine Field Hockey Coaches and Officials Association, and the umpire liaison to MPA field hockey committee. She also officiated the inaugural state high school field hockey state championship game in 1975 and has worked at an NCAA Division III field hockey national championship game. Weatherbie has served as head field hockey coach at Cape Elizabeth High, and since 2009 she has been the Western Maine field hockey umpires assigner. She also was the state girls lacrosse umpires assigner from 2010 to 2018.