EASTON, Maine — The Easton School Department has named a new athletic director and he is a known entity to many in the district.
On July 1, Easton teacher and coach Bryan Shaw will replace Easton Junior/Senior High School Principal Mark Stanley as the district’s athletic director. Stanley had acted as athletic director since Steve Shaw retired from the position in 2019.
Bryan Shaw has been the district’s physical education and health teacher since 2013. He has also spent several years coaching varsity girls basketball and junior high girls soccer during that period.
It will not be Bryan Shaw’s first foray into athletic administration. He said he had long assisted with the school’s athletics office under both Stanley and Steve Shaw. He sees the new position as the culmination of an interest he had long maintained in the school’s athletic program.
Bryan Shaw will remain in his spot as a physical education and health teacher, but will not resume his coaching responsibilities.
“I’m going to be moving away from coaching,” Bryan Shaw said. “At the same time, I’ll kind of be coaching the coaches.”
As athletic director of Easton schools, Bryan Shaw said he would work hard to promote the sports programs the school currently has, such as basketball, soccer and volleyball.
With a smaller student body than many of its County counterparts, Easton, at times, has had difficulties getting students to sign up for sports. Recently, though, there has been an uptick in interest, Bryan Shaw said. He plans to continue seeking students to join teams, especially at the varsity level.
As he attempts to expand sports in the district, Bryan Shaw will also face a newer more complicated issue: the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has required tough decisions from athletic departments across the country, and Easton is no different. Bryan Shaw said the Maine Principals’ Association and governor’s office had taken the lead on regulating K-12 sports to avoid spreading the virus.
Bryan Shaw said that it looks as if the Maine Principals’ Association would make decisions on athletics based on region rather than blanket regulations for the entire state.
There are wide disparities in Maine on cases — while the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 17 COVID-19 total cases in The County so far, there have been 1,540 in Cumberland County.
Bryan Shaw was hopeful that sports like soccer and basketball would be allowed to occur, but said there could be significant changes including restrictions on fan attendance. A continuation of 50-person limits on gatherings would put tight regulations on County sporting events that often go far over that number.
As a coach, Bryan Shaw had previously said that he tried to bring a positive attitude to Easton sports. He is excited to bring that attitude to the athletics office and ultimately hopes that sports can allow students to become more well-rounded individuals.
“I’m looking to promote Easton,” Bryan Shaw said. “It’s already a wonderful school system and athletic program.”