MERIDEN — Eric Bergeron is leaving one alma mater for another.
Bergeron has stepped down after two seasons as the Maloney wrestling coach to take the head coaching position at Plymouth State University.
Bergeron, now 29, wrestled at the Division III school in Plymouth, N.H. after graduating from Maloney in 2007.
“I think it’s an incredible opportunity to go back to my alma mater and give these guys the same experience I had when I went there,” Bergeron said Friday. “It’s not a huge difference from coaching high school to college. It’s the same philosophy: to stay positive and taking the opportunity to better yourself on and off the mat.”
Bergeron has previous collegiate coaching experience. Coming out of Plymouth State in 2011, he coached at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., southwest of Pittsburgh, through 2014 before taking the head coaching slot at Defiance College in Ohio. He returned to Maloney in 2016.
The Spartans were 3-17 in 2016-17, Bergeron’s initial year at Maloney. Last season, they improved to 12-9.
“I loved it,” Bergeron said about coaching at Maloney. “I loved the people and I loved working with and the kids that I coached. The support I got at Maloney was exceptional. I loved the job and I’m thankful for the the people I got to meet along the way.”
Maloney athletic director Bob McKee said Bergeron did a great job in his two years with the program.
“He brought a lot of enthusiasm and passion to the program,” McKee said. “He had an impact on the program and his wrestlers. I am extremely happy for Eric. I knew when I hired him he had an interest to coach at the college level. Having the opportunity to go back and coach at his alma mater where he once wrestled is something that most coaches dream about.”
The Plymouth State job opened this month and Bergeron went for it successfully. As a wrestler at Maloney, Bergeron’s career was highlighted by a pair of fouth-place finishes in Class L at 112 pounds.