Maine mourns loss of beloved senator and coach

Remembering Coach and Senator Ed Mazurek

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 6:45pm

ROCKLAND — Senator Edward Mazurek was more than just a state politician. He was more than just a grandfather, father, husband or coach. 

Those were all just titles given to Sen. Mazurek throughout his life. 

Rather, Sen. Mazurek was a person who wanted the best for all around him. Whether that be the people he represented at the local government level or at the state government level. Whether those people be his relatives or his players on the numerous teams he coached across New England. 

And he went above and beyond to ensure the best was there for those around him, especially those who he represented during his time in governmental offices. 

The Stamford, Connecticut, native passed Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 78, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that his Midcoast legacy will last through generations of Midcoast Mainers who had the opportunity to interact with the Senator — or Coach. 

Coach Mazurek, as most people probably know him, was well-known for his fiery, passion-filled speeches he would deliver with a booming voice when he coached. 

In June, Coach Mazurek recounted some of those memories in a conversation with me as we conversed about our love of sports and life in the coaching circles. He told me about how he once rang a bell for almost 90 minutes during a bus ride from Rockland to Pittsfield when his Rockland District High School football team was challenging Maine Central Institute.

The bell served as a way to fire the Tigers up prior to the contest since MCI would ring a bell of their own after victories. After the constant ringing of the bell, the Tigers went on the field and defeated MCI, a bigger foe that season, so they essentially would not have to hear anymore bells that night. 

In his political career, Sen. Mazurek was a member of the Rockland City Council (2002-2004), Mayor of Rockland (2003-2004), Maine House of Representatives (2004-2012) and Maine State Senate (2012-2014). 

Prior to politics, Sen. Mazurek, better known as “Coach Maz”, worked as an educator and coach for Central Catholic High School of Norwalk, Connecticut; Barrington High School of Rhode Island; Triton Regional High School of Newbury, Massachusetts; and Rockland District High School. Coach Mazurek spent time on the coaching sidelines as a football, baseball, basketball and softball coach. 

Coach Mazurek tackled a coaching career after having a remarkable playing career that included a 1951 Little League World Series championship, a 1954 Babe Ruth World Series championship and being drafted by the Chicago Cardinals after playing football for Xavier University as the 60th overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

As a matter of fact, the defensive tackle had also been drafted by the Boston Patriots of the American Football League and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League at the same time, but signed with the Cardinals.

Mazurek later spent time as a member of the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, while also playing for the semi-professional Stamford Golden Bears and Louisville Raiders. 

Shared Memories of Senator/Coach Ed Mazurek

Senator David Miramant of Camden:
I was lucky to serve with Rep. Mazurek during the 123rd Legislature. He sat near me and offered insights into the workings of the legislature, and also the personalities of our fellow legislators in order to work with them. Later as Senator Mazurek, he used those skills and relationships to great success in the Senate as well.

Ed was generally quiet and thoughtful, but when he wanted to move a bill forward he had a depth of passion he could draw from to make persuasive speeches to the body.

There is barely a week that goes by without someone in the statehouse asking how he is. During his 10 years (8 in the House and 2 in the Senate) in Augusta, it seems that he met everyone involved in the legislature.

I will miss our conversations about the issues, and the great time I had when we were campaigning together. The people of Rockland would stop whatever they were doing to visit with Coach, and I met so many great folks that he called friend.

Ed was never without his family. They were a part of everything he did and our hearts go out to his wife Mary Ellen, his kids and grandkids during this difficult time.

Rockland Mayor Will Clayton:
I had the pleasure of knowing Ed on a couple different levels. He was my Social Studies teacher at RDHS where his booming voice would fill the classroom and kept you on your toes and ensured you were paying attention to the days lesson. Ed also was a great sounding board for me politically as well. He knew my love of politics and every time I saw him in public I would bend his ear to get his opinion on what was facing us in council. He was never shy about making his stance known. I really appreciated it and wish more would follow suit. He was a legend in life and his legend will continue to grow.

Senator Rebecca Millett of Cumberland:
I am so very sorry to hear of his passing.  I enjoyed serving with him during the 126th.  He was a quiet leader in our caucus.  Choosing his moments and words carefully.  Intentionally or not, it meant that when he spoke, we all listened closely and gave his thoughts great weight.  It was clear that his service in the Senate was never about him.  He was there for his community.  End of story.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree:
Ed was so devoted to his family, his community, and his state. His tireless leadership and fierce advocacy will be impossible to replace. I know Ed will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and so many others who had the pleasure of knowing him as I did.

Representative Pinny Beebe-Center of Rockland:
When we started the Knox County Home Energy Committee which involved businesses, community members, craftspeople, non profits, the Coast Guard and youth groups and others — Ed's comments were "this is what community is all about!" "This is what it looks like, everybody working together.”

He was known as "coach" in many parts of his life. He was a major force in the lives of the kids, which are now adults in this community — and this was his community that he loved and never let down.

Bill Green, Producer and Host of “Bill Green’s Maine” and “The Green Outdoors”: 
Really sad to hear of the passing of Ed Mazurek of Rockland, a cheerful and thoughtful guy and a former New York football Giant! RIP Ed.

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