Falmouth High School Athletic Director Kathleen Burke announced last week that the school has hired a new varsity boys’ soccer coach. Dave Plourde, a Falmouth resident who has coached youth soccer in town along with numerous stints coaching across southeastern Massachusetts, has been named the new varsity boys’ coach.
Mr. Plourde takes over the reins from retired coach Bill Andrade. The former coach worked as a soccer coach at FHS for three decades and spent most of the time as the varsity boys’ coach.
Mr. Plourde has coached at the varsity high school level before. He had a two-year stint at Diman Regional Vocational Tech High School in Fall River as a young man and was the head coach at Durfee High School in Fall River for 11 years. He has also coached at the youth, travel, AAU and college levels.
He said coaching full-time at the college level used to be his desired career path, but the realization of what that would mean to his family life “rerouted my coaching career path.”
The job opening at FHS allowed him to get the best of both worlds. As the produce manager at Falmouth’s Stop & Shop, his day job is just a quick drive down Gifford Street to get to the high school. After practices and games, he will be another quick ride to his home in town.
“I am looking forward to getting back into coaching on a daily basis, the camaraderie and the work. I love the game, and it’s going to be fun to be around it every day again,” he said.
Mr. Plourde said he is coming into the job with a mostly blank slate. He knows a couple of his potential players but has not yet built relationships with most of them. That blank slate is a good thing, in his eyes, as he will go into the team’s tryouts with few preconceptions about what a player can and cannot do. With his onus on building a program that has “a good culture,” the players will have an opportunity to impress and show what they can do.
“I’m excited, and I think that they’re excited too. We’ll have to take some walking steps before we can run, but it’s definitely about having a culture and building that culture. We aren’t going to go out and become Nauset over night, but we hope to graduate kids and not rebuild, just replace some of the players and move on like they do there,” he said.
Mr. Plourde said he hopes to instill “old-school” values in his players, as he believes in simple things that make a large impact. Being on time, being punctual, playing as a team and taking personal responsibility are all characteristics he hopes to see in his Clippers.
Falmouth hopes to end a 10-year playoff drought with Mr. Plourde at the helm. The Clippers have been in a rut over the past decade, but he believes that as the program’s culture is cultivated that victories and tournament appearances will follow.
One player who may not be able to help the program is Mr. Plourde’s own son, incoming freshman Andrew Plourde, who plays elite club soccer and whose commitment to the Boston Bolts might prevent him from wearing the maroon and white. Coach Plourde said the level the Bolts decide to play Andrew will determine whether he will be at tryouts in September.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has pushed back the tryouts from their typical late August start to the middle of September. It is hoped that the season will begin in the last week of that month or in early October.
“I hope that works out. I’d really love to get going, and I know the kids want to play. We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” Mr. Plourde said.