Brian Toussaint may not have thought of it that way at the time, but he was essentially job shadowing Chris Golden for the past four years while the two shared a classroom as social studies teachers. It turned out to be great preparation for Toussaint as Greenport’s new athletic director.
It may have been coincidence and not by design, but that doesn’t mean Toussaint didn’t derive value from his close-up observations of Golden’s handling of athletic director duties during that time.
“It definitely was an invaluable experience,” said Toussaint, the successor to Golden, who resigned from the post after five years in order to pursue a coaching opportunity. “It definitely taught me how to handle different situations and how to approach the job.”
Toussaint, 31, of Aquebogue brings a healthy dose of enthusiasm to his new post, his first as an athletic director.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I mean, it sounds almost corny to say it’s like a dream come true, but being a lifelong athlete, a big sports fan, to be an athletic director is, you know, something I’ve definitely thought about and really dreamed about.”
Toussaint is a graduate of Elwood/John Glenn High School, where he played baseball and ice hockey. He did undergraduate work at St. Joseph’s College in Pat-ch-ogue before earning a master’s degree at LIU Post.
In pursuing his career in education, the idea of coaching became attractive to him. He has coached a variety of sports and teams in his five years at Greenport High School, most recently the varsity baseball team. He has also coached junior varsity and junior high school girls volleyball, junior high softball and junior high football.
Now Toussaint is overseeing the school district’s entire athletic program. As he sees it, his duty is to continue steering the Porters on a steady course.
“I think, overall, Greenport athletics is in a really good place,” he said. “We have really high participation. We got a great group of coaches, so I wouldn’t say it’s like reinventing the wheel at all. It’s really more of like I want to help this to continue, to provide students with a fun and safe environment, to keep doing what Greenport has been able to do.”
In the short time he has held the office (July 1 was his first official day), Toussaint has already come to appreciate how an AD’s life can be different from one day to another.
“There’s always something,” he said. “Even though sports hasn’t started yet, it’s only been not even two months of me on the job, yet every day there’s something, whether it be busing, whether it be a schedule change, whether it be trying to find a coach for a position. You know, it’s always some sort of challenge to address.”
Golden will return for his second stint as the Mattituck/Southold/Greenport girls soccer coach. Will Toussaint, who is assisted by administrative aide Lou Swain, be coaching himself?
“That has yet to be determined,” he said. “I know baseball has kind of been my passion for the past few years, really trying to build up the program. There’s definitely been some lean years, but we had a really good turnout recently, so it would be nice to continue with that. I’m not sure what the future holds.”
In the meantime, an AD’s work is never done. Toussaint has been spending his days making sure coaches are in place, schedules are set and fields are ready. Aug. 23 will be the first day of practices for high school fall sports.
If Toussaint has any questions, he knows he has a knowledgeable, familiar resource he can turn to: Golden.
“I’m calling him like every day,” Toussaint said. “If he’s not sick of me already, he will be by the time the season starts rolling here.”