Kelsy Ross takes over the NYA athletic department this school year. Contributed photo.

YARMOUTH—As a student-athlete at Greely High School, Kelsy Ross loved nothing more than to pop into the office of athletic director Jack Hardy.

“I’d stop in and say, ‘Hi, Mr. Hardy,’ and he’d usually say, ‘Isn’t there somewhere you’re supposed to be?'”

Flash forward two decades and Ross has again stepped into Hardy’s office.

This time as his replacement as the athletic director at North Yarmouth Academy.

“Jack was my athletic director and I always admired him,” Ross said. “I was a unique student in high school in that I always had an interest in the behind the scenes and I spent a lot of time in his office.”

Ross has followed a successful and winding road from high school and college athlete to coach to administrator and is eager to oversee the continuation of NYA’s recent run of athletic success.

“The timing and fit were right and here I am,” said Ross. “It’s a coming home of sorts. I grew up three miles down the road (in North Yarmouth). I drove by and to NYA a lot as a youth. In the late 90s, early 2000s, I remember NYA having an athletic heyday. It’s ebbed and flowed from that time. Coming in after Jack righted the ship, that was intriguing.”

Ross played soccer and basketball in high school, then competed in both sports at Roanoke College in Viriginia.

While in college, Ross first got involved in coaching, inspired in part by her high school athletic director.

“When I was a senior at Roanoke, Jack called and said that (Greely) had a JV girls’ soccer position open, so I came home and was a JV coach for a number of years,” Ross said. “I also worked at Howard Indoor Sports. That was administration in the private sector.”

After going back to school, at Springfield College in Massachusetts, Ross detoured to Bates College in Lewiston, where she coached soccer (she was named NESCAC Coach of the Year in 2015) and basketball, but it was only a matter of time until she achieved her dream of becoming a high school athletic director.

“This was my plan almost all along,” said Ross, who lives in Lewiston. “I was ready to make a change a year or two ago. I was missing the youth energy of high school.”

After Hardy announced his retirement last spring, NYA searched for a replacement and Ross was the choice.

“Athletics is an integral part of the NYA program and Kelsy stood out to the search committee from a very competitive and deep pool of applicants,” said NYA Head of School Ben Jackson.

Ross has spent the summer getting up to speed in her new job, with a lot of help from her predecessor.

“(Jack’s) been wonderful,” Ross said. “We spent the month of June together at least once a week. He had a lot to tell me and I soaked it in. I know he’s a phone call or text away.”

Ross feels that her previous experiences will help make her a successful administrator.

“I bring energy and excitement and experience from the other side,” Ross said. “I was a high school athlete and played collegiately. Having coached collegiately, where a number of our student-athletes hope to dabble, will help them. I also did things that were non athletic-related and for our student body who have different interests, I understand how we can help them get where they want to be as well.”

NYA won state titles in multiple sports last year and was competitive in several others. Ross hopes to build on that in 2019-20.

“I walked into the tail end of a school year that saw a lot of athletic success,” Ross said. “I hope we can have fun and complement that success.

“Summer’s wonderful, but I came on board for the school year. To have the kids stopping in will be great. Now I hope to be the one to say, ‘Where are you supposed to be?'”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.


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