By Dan Guttenplan
---- — Paul Yameen will coach the Newburyport hockey team this season, despite a recent injury to his Achilles that will keep him off the ice until at least February. He’ll just coach differently.
“No, I’m coaching,” Yameen said. “I don’t think I’ll be on skates for a while. I’ll be doing it in a different manner.”
Yameen injured the Achilles on the job as a physical education teacher at Newburyport High last Friday during what he jokingly calls “a hard-core badminton game.”
The injury diagnosis is a complete tear in the middle of his Achilles tendon, although the tendon did not detach from the heel. The doctor gave Yameen an estimate of a three- or four-month recovery.
“I’m more upset about the injury than concerned about the impact on the team,” Yameen said. “I enjoy being on the ice with the team, so that’s going to be tough on me. But, overall, everything stays the same.”
Yameen expressed confidence in his coaching staff, which has been together for 10 years. Jed Beauparlant, Jeff Gudaitis and Jeff Stone will run the practices from the ice. Yameen will set up on the bench or in the balcony over the ice during practices. He will be able to coach from the bench during games.
“I can get a good look at the ice from up top during practices,” Yameen said. “I have the same staff together as when I started. They know how we like things done. If I didn’t have the utmost confidence in the people I have with me, this would be a bigger deal.”
Yameen, who will wear a cast that runs up to his knee for the next three weeks, missed work all of this week due to the injury. He plans to return to school next week. After the cast is removed, he’ll wear a walking boot until the tendon heals.
“The doctor told me not to expect to be on skates this year,” Yameen said. “He didn’t say I wouldn’t be. I’m hoping for the end of February.”