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High school sports

Christie set to tackle task as Windjammer head football coach

Camden-Rockport High School graduate top level golfer, skier, baseball player for Windjammers; former golf pro
By Mark Haskell | Jul 22, 2020
Photo by: Chris Christie Camden Hills Regional High School varsity football head coach Chris Christie.

Rockport — For Rockport resident Chris Christie, being a high school varsity football head coach has been “a lifelong dream.”

That dream was realized at a Five Town CSD board meeting on Monday, July 20 when Christie was approved as Camden Hills Regional High School's next head varsity football coach.

The 53-year-old Christie, who was an assistant offensive coordinator for the Windjammers last year, takes over for Jeremy Marks, who guided the program three seasons.

“I’m really excited to have Chris on board as the head coach,” said CHRHS athletic director Jeff Hart. “He’s paid his dues in the football community, he’s a proven commodity at Camden Hills coaching golf and skiing in the past. Most importantly, he provides a smooth transition as the new head coach with his familiarity with the program, including the players, coaches and parents.”

Christie has coached in the Midcoast in various sports and age levels for the better part of three decades, including stints as the varsity golf and ski coaches for the Windjammers.

Some of the highlights include coaching the Windjammer girls Alpine ski team to a state Class B title in 2012, coaching the Windjammer golf team to a state Class B title in 2001 and coaching an undefeated Five Town Football team to an undefeated Maine Youth Football League (MYFL) championship in 2011.

In addition, he also has een the golf pro for various stints at the Samoset Resort and Goose River golf clubs.

Christie, a 1985 Camden-Rockport High School graduate, was a three-sport athlete for the Windjammers as a member of the golf, ski and baseball teams. He qualified for the New England championships four years as a golfer and also won an individual state championship in the giant slalom.

He also attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. and later Methodist College in Peoria, Ill (the latter where he played on the golf team) before joining the work force and beginning his long coaching career.

Christie has coached “for most of my life though I took a break for eight to 10 years in the middle.” Before returning to Maine, he spent time living in Colorado, where he was a ski coach at the national level and ran summer ski and development and strength and conditioning camps.

Along with offensive coordinator Joe Rusillo and defensive coordinator Mike Doran, Christie will usher the Windjammers into their first year of eight-man football. All three were on Marks’ staff last year.

“Jeremy let us know he was no longer going to be the coach of the team,” said Christie. “The three of us met and really wanted to continue what Jeremy has developed and created, which is a brotherhood within the team. And our thought was what was the best choice for the program? And I’m fortunate that Joe is such a talented OC and Tim is a great defensive mind so we kind of collectively said my strength is running a program."

Christie went and watched a few eight-man games last year, notably the state semifinal between Mount Ararat of Topsham and Maranacook of Readfield, and his initial apprehension about guiding the Windjammers into uncharted waters — away from traditional 11-man football — was quickly quelled.

“If you didn’t know football, you wouldn’t have even noticed there were eight men on the field,” Christie said. “[The] play was fast and upbeat, [a] little bit more technical because there’s more open field tackling. But it's football. No different than 11-man. We need to tweak schemes here and there, but it’s football."

Since Camden Hills has opted not to begin summer workouts until Monday, Aug. 3, Christie said “we will start zoom training sessions this week and start unveiling offensive and defensive schemes.”

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