Mike LeGage grew up in Portland and spent several years at Bonny Eagle, but he feels like he’s coming home upon taking over as Scarborough High’s new athletic director.

LeGage, 44, has lived in Scarborough for five years and jumped at the chance to replace Gary Groves, who stepped down after last school year to pursue his ministry work.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” LeGage said. “I’m thrilled to be here. The pieces fell into place, it seems like it was meant to be. It’s really coincidental that Scarborough opened. It’s been a passion of mine to be in an administrative position at the high school level. I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

LeGage played football and basketball and ran track at Cheverus High School, then attended Plymouth (N.H.) State University, where he got his degree in physical education. LeGage worked at the Portland YMCA and Camp Ketcha in Scarborough before deciding he wanted to get into education, following in the footsteps of his parents (his brother, Dan, teaches and coaches boys’ basketball at Deering High).

LeGage took a job at Bonny Eagle teaching physical education in the middle school and coached football, basketball and track. In 2008, the athletic director/assistant principal position opened and LeGage served in that role for two years before spending last school year as a teacher and part-time game site supervisor.

The Scarborough position appealed to LeGage for more than just proximity to home. The Red Storm have college-caliber facilities, respected, veteran coaches, are competitive virtually across the board and are dominant in several sports.

“There’s a sense of old fashioned, strong and supportive community in Scarborough,” LeGage said. “Everyone’s willing to help. We have some great coaches. The new coaches are veterans of their sports and I’m excited to work with them.

“I like to work closely with Booster clubs. These are tough budget times, but we have supportive parent groups. I’d like to be helpful to them. I’m proud of doing that at Bonny Eagle.”

Groves feels that LeGage will be a great fit.

“(Mike’s) personality will mix exceptionally well with the school,” Groves said. “He’ll work well with parents, coaches and kids. He’s very fair. He’s very passionate and was so excited to get the job. He brings a lot of experience and knowledge. I like his style and his approach.”

LeGage, who along with wife, Ann, is the parent of a fourth grade son, Michael, plans to ease into the job, but does have long term goals as well.

“I have some experience under my belt, but I’m getting the lay of the land of the new place,” LeGage said. “It’s been a great transition. Everyone’s been very supportive. I have big shoes to fill. Gary’s an outstanding person.

“One long term project I’d like to see us develop is an Athletic Hall of Fame. You can build tradition around that. I want to be actively involved with the kids. Doing leadership training with captains. I hope to be here for a long time.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]

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New Scarborough High athletic director Mike LeGage.