As a high school soccer coach in Maine, Charles "Sam'' Pendleton has few peers.
His teams at Georges Valley High School in Thomaston have set a very high standard for the state's Class C teams. In 38 seasons, his Buccaneers teams won 417 games and eight state championships.
But, as Pendleton has said, that's what happens when you set high standards. "If you don't expect to be good, you won't be," he has said. "Your expectations have got to be high. I have to have this attitude because, if I don't, the kids are going to pick up on it."
Pendleton was born in Rockland on May 6, 1943. He attended Rockport High School, graduating in 1961, and then went to Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield for two years. He graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1967.
He started the soccer program at Ashland, and moved to Georges Valley in 1969, where he also started that program.
Over the years at Georges Valley, Pendleton also coached cross country, track and field, gymnastics, tennis, and junior varsity baseball and basketball.
But it was in soccer that Pendleton made his mark. Twice his teams won back-to-back state championships, in 1980-81 and in 1992-93.
His first state championship team came in 1975, when the Buccaneers beat Lubec 2-1. They beat Lubec again in 1980, by a 3-1 score and followed that a year later by beating Ashland 1-0.
It was 1988 when Georges Valley beat Schenck of Millinocket 1-0 for his fourth state title. Then, in 1992, the Buccaneers beat Madawaska 2-0, following with a 2-0 victory over Schenck in 1993. His last two championships came in 1995, beating George Stevens 1-0, and in 2003, beating Dexter 3-1.
His team missed the regional playoffs just twice and competed in 19 regional championship games. The Buccaneers never lost a state championship game he coached.
He retired in 2003, but only for a season, then came back to coach from 2005-2007.
Pendleton, who is very active in his community, was honored as the Maine high school Coach of the Year seven times. Pendleton is a member of the UMPI Hall of Fame and the Mid-Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Sam and his wife Susan live in Hope, ME. They have two children, Eric and Todd.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 807-7666
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.