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St. Pierre returns to coach soccer

  • Photographed on April 27, 2020, in Claremont, N.H., Tim St. Pierre has been hired as Stevens High School's new girls soccer coach. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/29/2020 9:26:23 PM
Modified: 4/29/2020 9:26:30 PM

CLAREMONT — For Tim St. Pierre to get back to the sidelines, he first had to get back from the sidelines.

A successful high school soccer coach for close to three decades, St. Pierre was hired last week to succeed Tom Belaire with the Stevens High girls program. The former Fall Mountain goalkeeper and longtime Wildcats coach had to step aside from his responsibilities two years ago to undergo treatment for Lyme disease.

St. Pierre brings a wealth of experience with his return to coaching. Twenty of his 28 years on the bench have come with the Fall Mountain boys, while another three were spent as an assistant with the Stevens boys.

“Battling neurological Lyme disease rendered me unable to do my job,” St. Pierre said in a phone interview last week. “I was spending stretches of 18 hours a day in bed. I had to let it go. I had some good assistants with me that last year at Fall Mountain, but I couldn’t make the commitment. But my health has improved dramatically, I’m refreshed and I’m eager to get going.”

Belaire went 80-49-11 in eight seasons in charge at Stevens. The Cardinals went 14-3-1 last fall and reached the NHIAA Division III semifinals as second seed.

St. Pierre, 48, has already identified the Cards’ first big challenge: an imminent move to D-II. Although within the student population parameters for the higher division, St. Pierre said Stevens had been petitioning down lately to build itself up for a D-II future.

Longtime Lebanon High boys soccer coach Rob Johnstone thinks St. Pierre is the right person for the job.

“The guy is a master at creating an organized group that is just really going to be hard to break down,” said Johnstone, who got to know St. Pierre when his Fall Mountain boys teams were in D-II years ago. “Talent varies from year to year, but he has a foundational sense of where people should be. ... His girls teams are going to know how to play intelligently.”

St. Pierre accepted his first coaching gig in 1991, “and I’ve been doing it pretty much ever since,” he said. His past roles also include a three-year stint with the Fall Mountain girls and two campaigns with the Keene High girls.

He also oversees the Connecticut River Futbol Club, a winter operation that organizes indoor workouts for soccer players from first grade through high school.

St. Pierre said about 300 kids are in the program.

Between the time of year and the enforced distancing of the coronavirus pandemic, St. Pierre isn’t sure what his new team has in the tank. Reputation should serve the Cardinals well once they can get together with their new coach.

“I do coach a lot of those kids individually through my club,” said St. Pierre, who owns a construction company. “I know the players fairly well, but I don’t know what to expect out of the group. With Stevens, you still get blue-collar, hard-working kids, which is all it takes.”

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.




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