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Swedberg ready for challenge as new AD

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Matt Swedberg began his new post as Moultonboro Academy athletic director earlier this summer, as he’ll continue to coach boys’ basketball and teach physical education part of the day while holding down the AD duties for the newly-retired Harry Blood. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
July 23, 2012
MOULTONBORO – Ever since taking over the baton from retired athletic director Harry Blood, new AD Matt Swedberg has hit the ground running at Moultonboro Academy. With not a lot of time left until fall practice begins in mid-August, the busy Swedberg has spent his summer getting things ready for what will most certainly be a lively school year on the fields and gyms of MA.

"My personality is one that I hate to procrastinate," admitted Swedberg, who took over for Blood after the school year ended and will continue to teach physical education for part of the day in addition to his AD duties. "If I don't know something, I want to know it right away. My mind is constantly thinking and trying to get the answers I need. There's so much that I probably don't need to worry about right now, but that's just the way I am."

Swedberg's first big mission is to prepare for the MA Fall Sports Registration Night, scheduled for Aug. 1 at the school. Motivational speaker William Harris will talk at the meeting, discussing the team experience for the new school year.

"So far the biggest part of what I've been doing is staying on top of things," Swedberg explained. "That's what it's going to come down to. Trying to stay organized, keeping tabs on things, not letting things get put on the shelf. Whether it's being out and seeing the kids once practices and games start, talking to coaches, making sure busing is taken care of…just making sure everything's in on time."

Although the move from Swedberg's old office to his new one as AD is a matter of feet in the MA gymnasium, the responsibilities the new post holds will be a different challenge. Blood retired after a long and stories career with the program, and he'll be inducted into the NHIAA Hall of Fame this fall. Swedberg, who won a state title as a player and a coach at the school, did have the luxury of working alongside the retired AD for many years before taking the reins himself.

"I'm trying to make sure I'm not missing anything," began Swedberg of the challenges. "Harry was always, over the years, he could run things off the top of his head, phone numbers, etc. He could always answer a question. That's something you probably learn over time. Hopefully that'll come easier to me as I go along. But the more the summer creeps along, the more excited I'm getting. I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to offer the coaches something, just making sure I'm around for them. To help support them and what they do and at the same time be open, especially in my first year."

But while he knows what it's like to be on the coaching side of the coin, Swedberg, who will still coach the boys' basketball team in the fall, knows it still comes down to making sure all the student-athletes at MA have an enjoyable experience each season.

"My whole job is about the kids, making sure the whole athletic department can give the kids the best as far as coaching, practice, skill development, facilities," he explained. "Our numbers have been tremendous for participation at the school. That comes down to providing for them. Sport is fun. It kind of always needs to be kept in perspective. You need to provide them with the best opportunities they can get during their six years at our school. You learn all those life lessons that are so critical, sport just adds to it."

While Swedberg won't be coaching in the fall as he has in the past, he anticipates getting out and catching action from the numerous teams he now oversees as athletic director.

"I've always enjoyed going out and watching the other teams play, taking pictures…that part will still continue for me," he said. "Now that I'm not going to be coaching in the fall, I'll have more time to go out and watch the other teams play."

With another member of the MA family taking over for Blood, expect the transition in regimes to be a relatively smooth one. Swedberg doesn't anticipate wholesale changes in regards to the program under his watch, though he's looking forward to seeing what he can improve if the situation should call for it.

"I don't see a whole lot of stuff changing," he said. "I don't have any new standards or anything like that that I'm going to be putting into place. I don't want to institute change with coaches for something that's been flowing along nicely. There'll probably be little things along the way that might need a decision from me but I'm not going to stray from what's been going on."

The athletic department will see some new faces in addition to some old ones this fall, especially at the varsity level. Two defending state champion coaches will return once again, as girls' volleyball coach John Garneau and golf coach Ken Nilson are back at it with their respective teams this fall to try and duplicate the success of 2011. The co-op football team with Inter-Lakes welcomes new coach Jon Francis, though he was an assistant coach on the staff prior to Paul Lavigne's retirement. Both varsity soccer teams at MA will welcome new varsity coaches as well, with Jeff Husmann taking over the girls' job and Eric Porusta on board with the boys' team. Husmann, who is the head coach of the Nordic ski team in the winter, previously coached the middle school soccer squad at MA, while Porusta was the girls' soccer coach at Gilford until 2010.

"We've got a few new coaches coming in and I'm excited about working with them as well as the veteran coaches that I've known for awhile," said Swedberg.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
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