WELLS — Monday was a busy afternoon at Wells High School, with a junior varsity football game against Fryeburg Academy at 4 p.m., along with a varsity boys’ soccer game against Cape Elizabeth at 4:30 p.m. and a cross country meet with Old Orchard Beach at Laudholm Farm, also at 4:30 p.m.

That meant Pat Moody, the first-year athletic director for the Warriors, had plenty to do.

First, he had to set up the scoreboard clock for the football game, then do the same for the soccer game. He had officials to greet and forms for them to sign. And as he walked back-and-forth between the school and nearby Forbes Field, where the soccer game was being held, he stopped to talk to the school’s cheering coach, athletic trainer and football coach.

Once he had everything settled there, he was off to Laudholm Farm, which is about 3 miles away.

“This is our only home cross country meet,” said Moody. “So, yeah, I want them to see my face there. I want all the teams to know I’m trying to get to all the events.”

Moody, 56, is one of 15 new high school athletic directors in Maine this year. He’s fortunate that he knows the town he’s serving. Not only does he live just seven minutes from the school, but Moody is a 1983 graduate of Wells High and was the starting point guard on the 1983 Class B state championship boys’ basketball team.

Advertisement

He downplays the significance of being from Wells, but it does have its perks.

“I think people think it’s more important than I think it is,” he said. “It wasn’t that big of a factor for me.

“It helps because you know a lot of people and have a personal relationship with a lot of people and it makes things easier. When you need someone to do something, a lot of people have your cell phone number. Of course, when people are upset with you, a lot of people have your cell phone number.”

And he laughs at that. But Moody knows he’s getting plenty of help from not only friends, but everyone at the school, to make his job easier. “Everybody wants the same thing,” said Moody. “They want the kids to have quality facilities and quality programs and everyone wants to do the best for them.”

Becoming an athletic director had not been on Moody’s radar until fairly recently. After graduating from Wells, he went on to play basketball at the University of Southern Maine under legendary coach Bob Brown and was on the 1988-89 team that made it to the NCAA Division III semifinals. Moody still holds the USM record for career games played (115).

After college, he got into coaching and eventually landed at rival Kennebunk, where he taught math and coached boys’ basketball for 14 years (stepping down in 2008) and golf for 21 years (stepping down in 2018). Along the way, he and his wife, Amy, discussed him becoming an athletic director.

Advertisement

“We came to the conclusion that as long as you had kids still in school and they’re involved, it was a bad idea because you’ll miss all your kids’ stuff,” said Moody. “And it’s important to me to be able to watch my kids play.”

Their four children – Nicki (a nurse at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital), Wesley (a grad student at the University of Calgary) and twins Kristina and Haley (sophomores in college) – are grown now, so when the Wells job opened up, Moody and his wife decided the timing was right. He had been a volunteer assistant on the girls’ basketball team for seven years after he stopped coaching at Kennebunk and knew the athletic program was in great shape.

“I was happy to hear he wanted the job,” said Tim Roche, the Wells football coach and a classmate of Moody’s. “I know he’s a high character guy. … He knows Wells, and that’s a huge part of it. You’ve got to know Wells.”

Of course, Moody doesn’t know everything. “The one thing is the fear of not knowing what you don’t know,” he said. “You know, not knowing one day that you were responsible for something that is a big deal, like showing up at a football game on a Friday night and there was something you were supposed to do that you didn’t know you needed to get done and now 1,500 people know you didn’t do your job?”

So he reaches out for advice to colleagues, like former Wells athletic director Pierce Cole, Gary Stevens at Thornton Academy, Joe Schwartzman at Kennebunk and Mike Roberge at Traip Academy.

Schwartzman counseled Moody when he decided to apply for the position and believes that he’ll do fine.

“He’s got the right personality for it, that’s for sure,” said Schwartzman. “He doesn’t get fired up too often. I told him, ‘You’re a problem solver. You’ll do fine.'”

Moody knows there will be challenges. But he also knows he has the backing of just about everyone at the school.

“I feel supported by the people I work for,” he said. “Everyone is willing to do their part.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.