Gary Hoyt is retiring as the top athletic administrator at Cheverus High, ending a tenure that spanned significant changes and improvements at the private Portland Jesuit school.

Hoyt, 67, will work through the end of August to assist in the selection and transition of his successor, the school announced Wednesday.

“The position, the way I’ve done it for years, is a 50-to-60 hour a week job,” Hoyt said. “It’s a job that you leave every day with a bigger to-do list than you started the day with, so it’s exhausting.”

Hoyt may continue to work in the athletic department in a support role. That job is neither certain nor defined, he said.

“I will tell you I’ll be rooting for the purple-and-gold at a lot of games,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt and his wife, Margaret, the parents of three grown children, live in Scarborough.

“He’s been talking about (retiring) for some months now,” said John Wolfgram, a friend and former football coach at Cheverus.

When Hoyt became Cheverus’ director of athletics and activities, the all-boys school offered fewer than 10 sports and didn’t have any athletic facilities.

GARY HOYT

Hoyt oversaw a period of growth that included building a gymnasium, developing on-campus game and practice fields, and the school’s transition to being co-educational in 2000.

Cheverus’ current interscholastic program has 29 teams.

The Stags have won 102 state championships in 21 sports and activities under Hoyt’s leadership, the latest coming this spring when the girls’ outdoor track team won the Class A state title.

“He’s always brought a sense of calm professionalism to his work,” said Gary Stevens, the athletic director at Thornton Academy.

“He’s helped Cheverus negotiate a lot of change. When you think about going from an all-boys school to a co-ed school, it required an athletic director with vision.”

Hoyt also had a knack for hiring big-name coaches like Wolfgram, boys’ basketball coach Bob Brown, and just this past June, new girls’ basketball coach Gary Fifield.

“In my mind, Gary was an outstanding athletic director,” said Wolfgram, who directed the Stags to two Class A titles and retired after the 2015 season.

“Gary treated every program as if it was a high-profile program, an important program.”

Hoyt worked at Cheverus for 43 years.

He said his first job description included teaching four science classes, driving a school bus, running the football concessions and coaching basketball.

He took over the athletic director’s duties on an interim basis after his predecessor died.

“They asked, ‘Gary, can you do this for three months?’ ” Hoyt said. “I started doing it for three months and then it was a given. It was like ‘Gilligan’s Island.’ A three-hour cruise that turned into 37 years.”

Hoyt has been honored by several organizations. He was one of the eight athletic directors nationally to receive the National Federation of State High School Association’s citation in 2009. He was named AD of the Year in 2012 by the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Association.

Awards pale compared to relationships built, Hoyt said.

“Right now the thing I’m probably most proud of is the sense of belongingness the teams gave to me,” Hoyt said. “I was welcomed on John Wolfgram’s sideline and Bob Brown’s locker room, and Sally Cloutier’s field hockey field.

“That is probably the greatest feeling of accomplishment. That feeling of belonging.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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