TOLEDO — After more than a decade patrolling the sidelines as a member of the Cumberland Pirates coaching staff, Kevin Maynard was notably absent for the 2012 campaign.
He resigned as offensive coordinator after the 2011 campaign due to health concerns, and helped out occasionally during Cumberland’s 6-4 season last year.
But coaching never exited his brain and his blood, and when head coach Todd Butler retired at the end of 2012, Maynard’s year-long hiatus came to a close.
Now, Maynard has had two days on the job as the head coach of the Cumberland Pirates, who are looking to keep up the steady success they had under Butler.
“Throughout the summer, there’s been a lot of firsts,” Maynard said Wednesday. “Today was a lot of first. I thought we had a pretty good first day.”
Maynard spent the 2012 season in the stands and away from the game for the most part to spend time with his family.
But they had no issue when Maynard wanted to return to coaching.
“My family played a big role getting me back in to it,” he said. “ I got sick near the end of the 2011 season. (I was) fortunate enough to apply for the job and receive the job.”
Butler took over for Jim Pattenaude in 2000 following an 0-9 campaign for the Pirates in 1999. They struggled for their first four years, with a record of 14-22.
Since the 2004 season, the Pirates have been a mainstay in the playoff picture in both class 1A and 2A, making it to the playoffs seven of the past nine seasons for Cumberland’s only seven playoff appearances.
Cumberland advanced to the second round in 2011 before falling to Brown County 20-6 in the second round. They made the playoffs last season, but were topped 25-0 by Carrolton in the first round.
When the Pirates were looking for a new coach, athletic director Roy Clapp had no qualms in looking toward their former offensive coordinator for an easy transition.
“Him and Butler were together for so many years,” Clapp said. “We knew there weren’t going to be many changes. He’s one of the people who helped get this thing going.”
Cumberland opens the season with a non-conference trip to Paris, coming off a 2-7 season in 2011. The Tigers are a Class 4A school, however, compared to Cumberland’s Class 1A designation.
Maynard knows what the hopes and anticipations of the Pirate fan base are.
“You know the traditions, you know the expectations,” he said. “It’s been a smooth transition. I’ve surrounded myself with what I know is good people, good guys. I have good assistants.
And if things don’t go as smoothly as Maynard expects all the time, Clapp had a suggestion for their new coach.
“Butler’s not too far away if he has any questions,” he joked.
Cumberland’s home opener and LIC Eastern Division opener is Sept. 13 against Oblong.