Zeke Dwelley was a true pioneer in Maine High School skiing and in 30 years of coaching at Edward Little, compiled one of the most successful records in the entire history of high school sports.
Born in Calais, Dwelley graduated from Maine Central Institute and the University of Maine, playing varsity football at both institutions. He put his degree in education to work at Fort Kent and Calais where he coached and taught English, before arriving in Auburn as a teacher and coach in 1930. He was appointed Director of Winter Sports at ELHS where the events were snow shoeing, speed skating, downhill, jumping and cross country skiing. In the 1940's the events became the traditional slalom, downhill, jumping and cross country.
Dwelley and his teams cut trails at Brann's Hill in Auburn, Sabattus Mountain in Sabattus, and Streaked Mountain in Buckfield.
From 1930 to 1942 Dwelley directed the team in all winter sports events as they won State Winter Sports Championships in 1934, 1937 and 1940 . In 1939 and 1940 they won the Northern New England Winter Sports Championships.
Winter Sports evolved into team skiing in 1943, but because of World War II many interscholastic competitive events were curtailed due to difficulties in transportation. A New England Championship was held in 1945 and won by Dwelley's ELHS team.
Dwelley took a two year hiatus from teaching in 1947 and 1948 to work for the Veteran's Administration. His return in 1949 started a rebirth of success in the ELHS Ski Program that coincided with the growth of the ski industry in Maine. His teams won consecutive State Ski Championships in 1950,1951 and 1952, and Eastern Championships in 1951 and 1952. In this era prior to man made snow, if no snow was available in Auburn, the coach would bus his team to ski the Sherburne Trail on Mount Washington and the Appalachian Trail in Andover. He also saw to it that his skiers had up to date equipment from Europe and cross country waxes from Scandinavia.
The 1957 ELHS team started a run of State Championships that included I st Place in the New England Championships in 1957, 1958 and 1959 along with Maine State Championships in 1957 and 1958.
By the time of his retirement in 1961 Zeke Dwelley's teams had won three State Winter Sports Championships, three Northern New England Winter Sports Championships, five State Ski Championships, four New England Ski Championships, and two Eastern Ski Championships. His teams featured two Olympians, John Bower and Tom Upham, college and eastern standouts, Norm Cummings and Dick Osgood, plus countless other outstanding high school competitors.
After his retirement from teaching and coaching, Mr. Dwelley continued to run his St. Croix Voyageurs Wilderness Canoe Trip for Boys and was recognized in 1984 as one of the five original inductees in the Lewiston-Auburn Sports Hall of Fame. For his contribution to competitive skiing, the skiers he developed and the high standards he set for skiers yet to come Linwood, "Zeke" Dwelley has been elected to the Maine Ski Hall of Fame