Cid Dyjak reached a milestone on Monday night when he racked up his 300th career win as the coach of the Orono High School girls soccer team.
His Red Riots topped Dexter 6-0.
“I’m obviously humbled by the whole thing,” said Dyjak, who is in his 34th season directing the fortunes of the Red Riots.
“I’m very appreciative to all the kids I’ve coached. It has been my pleasure to coach them,” said the 64-year-old Dyjak. “I’ve coached a lot of wonderful kids, we’ve had a lot of great moments and a lot of excitement.”
“Time flies when you’re having fun. It really does. I’ve loved every minute of it,” added Dyjak.
Dyjak hails from Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, and played soccer at Springfield’s Cathedral High School, Holyoke Community College and the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
He landed a job teaching physical education in Blue Hill and coached the George Stevens Academy boys team for a few years. His wife, Ann, suggested he look into the Orono girls job, and he landed it.
“She said it would be a great fit,” he said.
Dyjak will always remember how welcoming the late Joe Paul was as the athletic director at Orono.
“He was a wonderful man,” said Dyjak. ”He was a complete gentleman. I always felt accepted. It was a great situation for me.”
Dyjak has led his Red Riots to three Eastern Maine championships, and his current team is 8-0-1 and atop the Class C North standings.
His cherished moments include “the little things that happened like being in an adverse situation and having a player say something that lifted everyone’s spirits including mine.”
He has always been thrilled to see his former players return and get caught up on their status while also reliving memories from their playing days.
“I always get a kick out of coaching the daughter of someone I had coached [and seeing the family resemblance],” said Dyjak, who teaches physical education in Alton and Bradley and teaches dance composition and modern dance at the University of Maine.
Coaching his own daughter, Analies Ross-Dyjak, was another huge thrill.
Before her last home game, he was putting in the corner flag “and she came out to see me. We hugged and cried. Nothing was said. It was a great moment. A very touching moment,” said Dyjak whose father, Charles, coached him. Brothers Tom and Rich also were coaches.
His former UMPI coach, Frank McGrath, and former UMaine men’s soccer coach Jim Dyer have also been tremendous influences, he said.
Orono athletic director Mike Archer said Cid Dyjak will be honored at the halftime of the Oct. 7 game against Old Town.
He called Dyjak an “icon in our community.”
“He teaches such a beautiful game of soccer and is such a father figure to the girls. The relationship with his players goes beyond their four years in soccer. The parents know that when they turn their daughter over to his program, they are in great and capable hands,” Archer said. “His knowledge in unparalleled, and he gets better at what he does every year. I don’t know of one coach who doesn’t have the utmost respect for him as a person and as a coach.”