ROCKLAND — The name Weiss is synonymous with football excellence, especially in the Midcoast, and specifically in the Rockland area.

There have been a handful of Weiss family members who have played or coached at the youth, middle school and high school levels for Rockland-based football programs and a younger member of that group will return to his hometown to guide the Oceanside High School varsity squad in the fall of 2022.

Sam Weiss, a former standout student-athlete for Rockland District High School, who played and coached the sport professionally in Europe, will trade his Tiger orange and black for Mariner blue and white.

The 30-year-old Weiss takes over for Wes Drinkwater, who led the Tigers and Mariners for a bundle of seasons.

OHS athletic director Troy Smith confirmed on Monday, May 9 Weiss had accepted the position as the new Mariner football coach.

“I’m very excited,” Weiss said. “It kind of went full circle for me. Being here and then being away so long over in Europe. It’s never a position I thought I’d have and it’s really cool to now have it.”

Weiss, who lives in Rockland, wrote, in the cover letter of his application for the Mariner job, coaching football “is both my passion and my vocation.”

Weiss, a tenacious, hard-working athlete in high school, college and pros, has seven years of football coaching experience with three years as a defensive coordinator. He most recently served as outside linebackers’ coach at Husson University in Bangor.

Weiss was recommended to Husson University coach Nat Clark for a coaching position by former RDHS teammate Alex Young-Jopke, who also played in the German Football League like Weiss, but for the Cottbus Crayfish.

Weiss was with the Eagles “for about six months” before verbally accepting the job on the coaching staff at St. Andrews University — a college team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in North Carolina — in early 2020, but the job did not materialize after COVID-19 shut down sports nationwide.

Weiss returned to Husson and coached with the team during the spring of 2021, but said “I got that itch to coach again after I was done.”

“I was just never 100 percent out of football,” he said. “It’s just in my DNA.”

Before Husson, Weiss was with the Marburg Mercenaries in the GFL, widely regarded as the top American football league in Europe. In one of his years, Marburg was ranked among the top 13 in Europe and seventh in Germany.

Early in his career, he also was involved with the film aspect of football at Bates College in Lewiston.

Weiss also played football at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he was a captain, all-Liberty League selection and team most valuable player in 2013. That year he had a team-high 71 tackles, three interceptions and 110 yards of interception returns.

He graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management.

Weiss also played in the GFL in 2015, where he played free safety and middle linebacker. He was third in the GFL in tackles (102), including 58 solos. He was seventh in all-purpose yards (punt/kick returns), while never taking a snap on offense.

He led the team in total tackles, solo tackles, assisted tackles, fumble recoveries, forced fumbles and blocked kicks (3 field goals and punt). He had to stop his football playing career due to a serious neck injury.

Weiss excelled on the gridiron for RDHS for three years and put up gaudy stats during his days with the Tigers, including a seven-touchdown game during his sophomore year in a road game at Dexter. He also was a standout track-and-field athlete.

He transferred to Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J. and graduated from there in 2010.

Weiss’ father, Bill, has coached many levels of football in the Rockland area, while his uncle, Darryl, guided the Tiger varsity a handful of years.

“My dad coached here, my uncle coached here, my older brother [Andrew] graduated from here [and played football], Aaron [my younger brother] played here,” Weiss said. “[I’m] Absolutely [excited to get going].”

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