DEXTER -One of the most successful coaching tenures in Maine high school golf history has ended after 28 years with Gary Rees' decision not to return to Dexter High thi s fall.
The 60-year-old Rees, who coached teams at Dexter and Greely High in Cumberland Center to a combined nine state championships, cited health reasons and a job conflict for his decision.
"I hated to give it up, and I'm missing it already now that the season has started," said Rees, who is recovering from throat cancer and currently is employed at Golf Country in Bangor. "I had an awful lot of good kids over the years. I probably benefited more from being around them than they did from being around me."
The Sangerville native played golf at Husson College before beginning his coaching career at Foxcroft Academy in 1971. In 1979 he moved to southern Maine where he began a 23-year tenure at Greely that included six state championships.
He moved to Dexter in 1998 to be closer to his parents and to begin a seven-year run as golf pro at Dexter Municipal Golf Course, but he continued to coach golf at Greely for three more seasons. "I didn't mind it," said Rees of his daily commute during golf season. "I had a Corvette, and I love to drive. But it got old after a while."
Rees took the Dexter job in 2001 after Martha White retired, and guided the Tigers to state championships in 2001, 2002 and 2003. During nearly 30 years as a golf coach, Rees' teams compiled a 343-50-2 regular-season record, with nine undefeated seasons along the way. Rees also was the first president of the Maine High School Golf Coaches Association and was elected to the Maine Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.
Rees has been replaced as Dexter's varsity golf coach by Jim Costedio.
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