Soule, Derek (2017)
When Coach Soule first took over the varsity role at Greely, we knew we had a baseball man with a passion for the sport and a love for the history of baseball at GHS. The fact that he was a former stand out Greely student-athlete, in concert with his devotion to the Cumberland / North Yarmouth communities set him up to be one of the most respected and successful coaches in Greely’s storied athletic history. Coach’s love of athletics and dedication to baseball is infectious, and brings out the best from his players, their families, and his coaching staff
- Jack Hardy former long time AD at GHS:
Coach Derek Soule is an institutional treasure. Not only has he made a tremendous impact on our entire community through the programs he coaches, but also he is the definitive source of all information pertaining to the exploits of all our programs. He is deeply committed to all of our student-athletes and the go-to guy for any historical perspectives and he is always happy to provide the information in detail.He epitomizes all that is great in education-based athletics.
- Dave Shapiro, Athletic Director
I think what I would say is that, as a coach he cares about players’ success not only in baseball, but in other sports, in school, and in their general community. I have always found it really special how he is constantly in contact with players whose careers ended long ago.
I also think through his coaching you can see his love of the community and school he grew up in. He has a lot of pride related to Greely Baseball, and that shows through his commitment to coaching k-12. He demands the best out of you and teaches the right way to play the game while still allowing the team to enjoy themselves.
- Calvin Soule...player and son
Derek Soule was born in Portland, Maine in 1973 and raised in nearby Cumberland. He was surrounded by ‘baseball men’ his entire life and he was constantly exposed to the game he would grow to love at an early age. Derek’s father, Mort Soule (Maine Baseball HOF ‘91) was a long time varsity coach at Deering and Derek’s childhood memories are filled with experiences tagging along with his dad at practices and games, keeping the scorebook, accompanying his father at baseball clinics and absorbing everything he could about playing the game the right way. His childhood experiences cultivated a deep appreciation and knowledge for the game of baseball that would guide him through his playing days and give him a foundation that has helped him achieve one of the most impressive high school coaching records in Maine High School Baseball history while coaching at Greely from 1996 to the present.
As a player, Derek enjoyed a lot of success on the diamond. He was a highly productive player for the 1986 Suburban Little League All-Star District 6 Champions and the 1989 District Babe Ruth All-Stars. While attending Greely High School he was a senior all-star selection and captain for the soccer team, playing for legendary coach Glenn Hutchins (Maine Sports HOF ‘17). He also played basketball for legendary coach Ken Marks. But it was on the diamond where again he had the honor and privilege to play for, learn and grow under the tutelage of another great ‘baseball man’, Bob Anthoine (Maine Baseball HOF ‘15). While at Greely, he was a two-time All-Conference selection as a middle-infielder and named captain as a senior. During his senior campaign, Derek batted .380 with 15 RBI, 26 runs and 18 stolen bases. He also was a major contributor to Cumberland Legion’s back to back appearances in the state tournament at Togus. In his final Legion season, he batted .460 with 25 RBI, 34 runs, 3 HR’s and 27 stolen bases.
After high school, Derek walked-on and made the baseball team at the University of Maine at Orono where he again was blessed to learn and develop under the guidance of another Maine Baseball icon, Dr. John Winkin (Maine Baseball HOF ‘75).
Soule was named to the 1994 North Atlantic All-Academic Team in 1994 while at Orono.
During the summer, Derek helped lead the Coastal Athletics to back to back Twilight League Championships in 1994 and 1995. In 1994, he earned the League MVP, batting .400 with 20 RBI, 25 runs and 16 stolen bases. In 1996, he finished second in the Twilight League batting title race, hitting .444, the first year the Twilight League had switched back to wooden bats.
After college in 1996, Derek accepted the JV coaching position at Greely High School and it is here where he began his journey that would eventually accumulate into one of the most prolific coaching records in Maine High School history. From 1996 to 1998 he led the Greely JV team to a record of 45 wins, 3 losses, including a perfect 16-0 in his first season as a coach in ‘96. In 2000, he accepted the Varsity coaching position at Greely. As the varsity coach from 2000 to 2017, Soule has compiled an overall record of 257 wins and 78 losses. In 18 years, he has compiled an overall state playoff record of 35 wins and 14 losses. His teams have recorded 18 consecutive winning seasons, 18 consecutive trips to the playoffs, including win streaks of 14 in 2006 and 2013 and a 26 game home win streak from 2005 to 2007. During this span, the Rangers have won 7 Western Maine League Championships (‘00, ‘01, ‘06, ‘09, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13), they have made 9 Regional Championship appearances, 5 Regional Championships (‘07, ‘09, ‘11, ‘14, ‘15) and captured 4 State Championships in 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2015.
Throughout his coaching career, pitching and defense has been a trademark of Soule teams. In 18 his seasons, Greely teams have thrown 71 shutouts, including 12 playoff shutouts and 4 shutouts in state championship games. In 5 State Championship appearances, Coach Soule’s teams have allowed a total of one run combined. The 2014 Greely pitching staff threw 5 consecutive shutouts, including all 4 play-off games. The 4 shut-outs in the playoffs is believed to be unprecedented in Maine High School baseball history. From 2014 to 2015, Greely pitchers combined for 51 and ? innings consecutive shutout innings, the fourth longest streak in the history of high school baseball in the United States.
Along the way, Soule was named the 2007 Portland Press Herald Coach of the Year and the 2007 and 2015 Forecaster Coach of the Year. In 18 seasons, Greely baseball has had 68 All-Conference selections, 17 Portland Press Herald All-State selections, 5 players named as the Umpire Association’s Class B Player of the Year (Rupert Johnson Award), 4 Conference Player of the Year recipients, and 3 John Winkin Award Finalists as the State’s player of the Year. Twenty-four of Coach Soule’s players have played college baseball, including 3 Division I players, 2 Div II players, and 19 Division III players.
Derek has also been instrumental in growing baseball participation levels in Cumberland and fostering pride and tradition within the Greely program. He created the Greely Baseball Hall of Fame to honor former players. Nineteen players have been inducted since 2007. He established the first ever Greely baseball boosters. He researched and wrote the History of Greely Baseball and created a record book to help develop a sense of tradition within the program. He oversaw the creation of a second Greely middle school baseball team and the first freshman baseball team in 2006, greatly increasing participation in baseball at Greely and adding significant depth to the program.
Coach Soule currently lives in Cumberland and is a social studies teacher at Greely high school and in addition to varsity baseball, he also coaches middle school soccer, freshmen basketball and Unified basketball.