BAR HARBOR — The architect behind the Mount Desert Island boys’ soccer team’s resurgence in recent seasons is passing the torch.
MDI announced last Thursday the resignation of Tyler Frank as the school’s head boys’ soccer coach. Frank, who had led the program since the 2014 season, compiled a 53-52-12 record in eight years at the helm.
Frank told the Islander that he has been considering moving on from the post for a little more than a year now. With the father of four and his wife, Elise, expecting a fifth child in February, the timing finally felt right for him to do so.
“I have been contemplating stepping away since COVID started but did not actually decide to step away from the coaching position until after this season ended,” Frank said. “I love coaching high school soccer, so it wasn’t an easy decision to step down.”
Frank’s MDI teams were regular threats in Class B play. The Trojans made the playoffs all seven years that postseason play was offered during his time as head coach, won at least one playoff game on six of those occasions and won two three times. MDI was Class B North runner-up in 2019 and went 7-0 in localized play in last year’s pandemic-affected season.
During Frank’s tenure, MDI turned the tide in its matchup with rival Ellsworth. After going more than a decade without a win against the perennial Class B powerhouse Eagles before Frank took over, the Trojans dominated Ellsworth from 2016-20 as they went an impressive 7-1-2 in the rivalry over that five-year span.
The culture MDI has established in recent years, Frank said, made walking away a difficult decision. So, too, will the sights and sounds of practices and games as well as the many relationships forged between players and his fellow coaching colleagues.
“I will miss the players, the first day of tryouts when you hear the thud of the soccer balls being passed and shot, the eagerness of the players ready to get organized and compete and the other Class B coaches I have gotten to know over the years,” Frank said. “I will miss being part of player and team accomplishments and the overall team comradery, and mostly, [I’ll miss] the opportunity to elevate and be part of the high school soccer experience.”
Frank’s resignation came just nine days after MDI’s 2021 season came to an end with a 1-0 Class B North quarterfinal loss to top-ranked Presque Isle. A timetable for a new coach to be hired has yet to be put in place, though the school has ample time to evaluate candidates with this year’s campaign having concluded just five days ago.
“During [Coach Frank’s] tenure as the coach, his team was always prepared and played hard in every game,” MDI Athletic Director Bunky Dow said. “Tyler is leaving the program in excellent shape for the future.”
With a strong junior varsity program undergirding the team’s foundation and a number of varsity standouts set to return, whoever takes the reins at MDI next year will certainly have plenty with which to work. Given the seeds planted and the program’s recent success, Frank believes his predecessor can take the Trojans even further.
“I feel my stewardship has left the program in a good position if decided to continue with what has been established,” Frank said. “There is a great group of players and assistant coach (Max Mason) returning. I would anticipate MDI soccer to continue to be revered as a state contender in its goal to bring the first-ever boys’ soccer state championship to MDIHS.”