BANGOR, Maine -- John Bapst Memorial High School is celebrating a victory, after it's Head Football Coach was named the best in the state.

John Bapst Crusaders head football coach Dan O'Connell has been named "Maine's Best High School Football Coach" by voters in the USA TODAY High School Sports contest. O'Connell won the Maine vote with 42.42%, narrowly edging out Leavitt Hornets' head coach Mike Hathaway. Over 300,000 votes were cast in just the Maine portion of the vote.

"He deserves it, for the past decade he's put his heart and soul into this program and turned it around," said Senior Captain, Aaron Gray.

The Crusader's haven't had the best season so far with just one win and four losses, but Coach O'Connell did take the team to it's first state title in 2008, inheriting a team that had a string of winless seasons. He hopes his new title will give players motivation for the rest of the season.

"You're not going to get everything you want just because you want it you got to make it happen," said O'Connell. "I think those kids are learning that lesson right now."

O'Connell now moves on to the Northeast regional portion of the voting, where he carries an early 1.5% lead just 2 days into the voting. Follow thisLINK to place a vote. Winner of the national contest can win $2000 for the school's athletic department. Voting ends Friday October 18th.

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