PORTLAND – Mike Connolly spent last week learning the ropes of his new job from his predecessor, Portland High Athletic Director Mike McCullum. Connolly began his new job last Friday.

On Saturday, he was handing out the annual John and Bob Duffy trophies at the Portland-Cheverus football game. In a few short days, Connolly, 37, had already gotten a sampling of his new job.

As assistant athletic director at Gray-New Gloucester for the last six years, and a math and social studies teacher at Gray Middle School, Connolly was looking for change. The chance to run an athletic program was something he couldn’t pass up, especially one as diverse as Portland’s. Connolly also was an assistant AD at Gorham High for Gerry Durgin for one year. He coached varsity baseball at Bonny Eagle from 2004-06.

“I knew Mike was looking to move back into the private sector,” said Connolly, who was hired earlier this month.

“I got my resume packet together and sent it in. Portland is such a unique community to work in. It’s really like no other school. Operationally. it’s very similar to the schools I’ve been at, but it’s significantly larger in the number of sports offered, particularly at the freshman level,” he said.

In his position, Connolly is in charge of all co-curricular activities at Portland.

“I’ve been working with all the clubs and activities within the building. I’m learning names. It will be awhile before I know all of them,” said Connolly.

Connolly graduated from Scarborough High, where he played soccer, basketball and baseball. He graduated from the University of Maine.

Connolly isn’t the only family member with Portland High connections. His father, Ed, graduated from Portland in 1949, where he was a distance runner and played baseball.

His father used to take him to the Thanksgiving Day football game when he was young.

Now Thanksgiving dinner will have to be a little later in the day at the Connolly house.

Connolly lives in Westbrook with his wife and two children.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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