BRUNSWICK — Aaron Watson is eager to begin his new job as the next Brunswick High School athletic director.

Watson, 48, replaces Jeff Ramich, who resigned in June after taking an assistant principal job at Cony Middle School in Augusta.

Aaron Watson is the new athletic director at Brunswick High School. Photo provided by Aaron Watson

A former physical education teacher and varsity boys basketball coach at Mt. Ararat High School, Watson comes to Brunswick from Noble High School in Berwick, where he served as athletic director. He also was the athletic director at Gray-New Gloucester High School from 2014-2017.

Watson sat down with The Times Record recently to discuss his new position with the Dragons.

Q: What are your ties to Maine?

A: I grew up in Maine my whole life. My primary and elementary school years were spent in Bangor. I graduated high school from Oxford Hills in 1991. Then I went to the University of Maine in Orono and got a degree in kinesiology. I also have a master’s degree through Western Kentucky University in athletic administration. I’m also a CA, which is a certified athletic administrator. I achieved that status in 2018. That’s a national accreditation, basically when teachers get nationally board-certified, this is kind of the same thing for athletic administrators.

Q: What’s your vision with Brunswick athletics?

A: I think it’s really hard for me to have a total complete vision of what the athletic department could look like because I have yet to meet so many people. I haven’t met all of my coaches and all of the people who really support athletics, so I don’t want to have a preconceived notion as to — I’m not swooping in and changing everything. I really want to listen, learn about the people, learn about the schools, and learn about the facilities. I’d like to bring energy, enthusiasm and create a positive climate and culture. I’d like to bring what I’ve learned as an athletic administrator in the past seven years and be a positive leader as much as I can. And most importantly, I want to tap into creating student leaders. These kids are in high school and they’ll be going off to college very soon. I value the opportunity that I have as an administrator to help shape making good leadership decisions and understand the importance of being a good role model and a good community member.

Q: What are some things you look for in coaches on and off of the playing surface?

A: I have to say, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my high school coaches. English, math, social studies, science, all of those teachers are important people and they shape student lives. But coaches have a great opportunity to shape students’ lives, and I wouldn’t be where I am without my high school coaches. So I hope coaches understand the importance of the role that they play in students’ lives. A lot of kids are really motivated by athletics, and those coaches really can take advantage of that opportunity to be a good role model for them to lead by example. You know, don’t use negative motivational tactics. Gone are the Woody Hayes days, that’s not educationally based athletics. I believe in educational-based athletics. The art of competition can really teach a lot to student-athletes. And if you can teach a kid to compete, a lot of times they’re going to be successful. So I want to push that in athletics — as well as competing for championships for sure.

Q: How much of a premium do you put into conference and state titles?

A: It’s nice to put things up on the wall; it’s nice to have success. I value winning. It most certainly isn’t the only thing that you look for. It can’t be. I want to say that winning is a tremendous byproduct of giving kids an opportunity to train, learn and compete. And Brunswick has been doing very well with that for a very long time. I’m hopeful that those things can continue. But a season can’t always be designed, decided, or defined as a great season just because you want to win a state championship. A team could go 4-12 but just had an amazing year depending on the adversity that it had to go through. So winning isn’t the only thing for sure. It certainly helps solve a lot of problems but I think it’s important to know that it isn’t the only thing.

Q: What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face in this new position?

A: Well, the learning curve will be quick. Preseason starts on Aug. 16. But there’s so much work that goes into that. Coming on a little bit later than normal, it’s going to be a challenge. I think I need to learn a lot of people really quickly, and that’ll be a big challenge for sure. I think the relationship part will be easy. I am pretty easy to get along with. I feel like I’m a really good communicator. Those aren’t going to be challenges for me. So I think probably the biggest challenge will be learning the ways that things have gone, what people are comfortable with, and trying to enhance that.

Q: How would you describe yourself as an athletic director?

A: I’m student-centered and student-focused. Every person makes mistakes. And that includes administrators and athletic administrators, but the root of all decisions is we’re trying to do something great for student-athletes. So, I’m always going to base my decisions on what’s best for students. That may not always be the most popular thing with particular people, but I understand that as part of the job. The decisions that I’m going to make are going to be student-centered. I feel like I’m pretty organized and that I’m a good team player. I’m excited to be here. Brunswick has a rich tradition in athletics and I’m excited to become a part of that and hope to add to it. I’m looking forward to that opportunity.

 

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