The end of the school year may seem like an ideal time to move into an administrator position, especially one centered around athletics. The sports season wrapped up in mid-June and the fall season begins in late August.
As Chris Golden, a longtime Greenport teacher and coach discovered, the job of an athletic director never really slows down.
“As they say I’m literally jumping into the deep end of the pool,” he said.
Golden was officially approved by the Greenport Board of Education last week as the athletic director, filling the void left after Jim Caliendo resigned in November 2015. Shortly afterward the district hired Paula Nickerson as an interim athletic director to fill the gap for the remainder of the school year.
Golden said the position was posted in late May and it was something that interested him after spending nearly 30 years in the district as an educator.
“Since I was appointed at the board meeting, I’ve pretty much been in every day and will be in many days over the summer getting organized, inventorying our equipment, meeting with coaches,” he said.
Golden, 51, coaches the varsity boys soccer team in the fall and he plans to continue to do so. He had previously coached the varsity baseball team until 2014 and last year he coached the girls varsity basketball team that’s combined with Southold. He said he will no longer coach a winter sport now that he’s the AD.
Golden had taught as a special education teacher and moved over to history about six or seven years ago, he said. He most recently taught 11th grade U.S. history and 12th grade economics, AP government and politics, he said.
“This is another opportunity for me to pursue some professional growth,” he said.
Golden said he’s already been in contact with other athletic directors across the East End to help navigate the new position. Greenport combines with other North Fork schools in a number of sports, making communication that much more important. For starters, in the fall, the football team that plays in Greenport includes students from both Mattituck and Southold.
“There is a good degree of cooperation between the three districts that will have to take place,” he said.
Golden said he’s not looking too far into the future as to how long he’ll hold the position. He said he’ll approach it on a year-to-year basis and see how the district approaches shared services in the future. Greenport and Southold currently share a superintendent, so the idea of one athletic director for both districts may not be far behind.
“It’s all really determined by the needs of the district,” he said. “For now I’m embracing this position.”
Photo Caption: Chris Golden pictured during his final game as varsity coach of the baseball team in 2014. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)