Morse High Athletic Director Scott Walker is poised to become the new AD at Gray-New Gloucester High, pending approval of the SAD 15 school board on Wednesday.

Walker was chosen from a field of 18 applicants, said SAD 15 superintendent Craig King. He will replace Aaron Watson, who is stepping down on June 30 after three years as the AD at Gray-New Gloucester.

“He’s a veteran AD,” King said of Walker.

Walker, 43, is in his eighth year in a combined athletic director/assistant principal position at Morse after four years as athletic director at Mt. Blue High in Farmington.

“My search was really trying to do one (job) or the other,” said Walker, who graduated from Lawrence High in Fairfield. “Any time you look at an opportunity, you look at the people, and the people I interacted with (at Gray-New Gloucester) have been really impressive.”

Watson told school officials of his decision to step down earlier this spring. The post was his first as a high school athletic director.

“I just discussed it with my family and the people I’m close to, and at this point in time this is the best course of action I can take,” Watson said.

“I’ve absolutely enjoyed working with the athletes at Gray-New Gloucester. We were blessed with some great kids and absolutely blessed with some great coaches, and I’ve enjoyed giving my services to that community for three years.”

The incoming athletic director will need to hire a head football coach after the resignation of Mark Renna on May 24.

“What I look for in coaches are people who understand, regardless of the sport, that you’re working with young people,” Walker said. “One of the primary responsibilities is to engage the kids; engage their passion for what they’re doing.”

Renna’s teams compiled a 4-21 record in three seasons, including the program’s first playoff berth in 2015.

Renna said he expected to return for a fourth season this fall until a May 22 meeting with King.

At the meeting, Renna said he was instructed to replace one of his assistant coaches with a coach from the GNG Patriots Youth Football club. Renna said he felt the youth coach was not qualified to be a high school assistant. Rather than make the change, Renna resigned two days after the meeting.

“I could have come back. They just didn’t want one of my assistants to come back,” said Renna, who previously served as an assistant coach at Westbrook, Scarborough, Cheverus and Portland high schools over 14 seasons.

When King was asked by a reporter whether he had instructed Renna to hire someone from the youth football group, the superintendent did not answer directly. “All of our coaching positions and extra-curricular positions are one-year positions,” King responded.

Renna said he plans to return to the Portland High football program this fall as an assistant under Coach Jim Hartman.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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