Brian Contorchick is the new athletic director at Winnisquam Regional High School.
Bob Martin. (click for larger version)
August 14, 2017TILTON — Brian Contorchick has always had an affinity for both sports and education. After 14 years of being in the classroom, he is now able to combine both loves in his role as the athletic director at Winnisquam Regional High School.
"It was really kind of interesting," said Contorchick. "Full-time athletic director positions are at a premium in the state of New Hampshire. There is a ton of competition for them. So I wasn't even planning on getting the position, but I am very, very happy to be here."
Contorchick has taught he last nine years in the Granite State, with the last six as a social studies teacher at Nute High School in Milton. Since he didn't think he would be getting this job, he planned his summer as a teacher by working on committees and putting his dues.
Contorchick started the new position on July 1 and said it has been busy right off the bat. He said he is fortunate enough to know the outgoing athletic director, Becky Zumbach, who has since taken a teaching position in the Inter-Lakes School District.
A New Hampshire native, Contorchick grew up in the small town of Hinsdale and currently lives in Newmarket. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, and while there didn't think he wanted to go into education.
His uncle was a juvenile probation officer in Pennsylvania and Contorchick decided to shadow him one day. This led him to his desire to work with children, and after graduating from UNH he got a job as a residential councilor for adolescents at risk in Lawrence, Mass. This was a 10-bed residential facility that Contorchick said was very intense.
He moved on to being an EPA and OSHA coordinator for a company in Massachusetts, but then decided to switch his career. Contorchick got hired as the ninth grade social studies teacher in Winchester, Va. in a high school that was about 1,500 students.
"This was night and day compared to my high school," said Contorchick.
Contorchick, who was a three-sport athlete in high school playing soccer, basketball and baseball, had done some coaching while at UNH. While in Virginia he decided to continue this, and coached freshman girls' volleyball, freshman boys' basketball and the baseball team.
He said that this is such a different way to get to know students rather than in the classroom, and it is something that he has always loved.
After teaching for five years in Virginia, he decided that he missed the snow too much and wanted to come back home. Contorchick taught at Bedford for three years and was the volunteer assistant in the volleyball program, coached JV basketball and started a crew team.
"I am really proud of the crew team," said Contorchick. "It has really blossomed. I think we had 20 kids the first season and now it is up over 100."
"I really started thinking about all this when I was at Bedford," said Contorchick. "I did game manager stuff for the AD there, and I would set up and break down the field, announcing, clock, book, that sort of thing. I really enjoyed it."
Contorchick said this, and starting the crew program were vital to the direction of his career.
"I saw more of the organizational side of things and realized what I would like to do," said Contorchick.
Contorchick said this was a turning point in how he wanted to be involved with athletics. He eventually became the varsity girls' basketball coach at Prospect Mountain, and said he really enjoyed running his own program.
The commute was a bit too much so he needed to put off his coaching duties at Prospect Mountain, but the Nute basketball coach, Scott Currier, landed a principal job at the school. They needed a coach and Contorchick got the job as head coach, which he did for a year before taking an internship at Oyster River.
After all these coaching jobs and teaching position, and getting a master's degree in athletic administration at Plymouth State University, Contorchick knew it was time for him to move up the ranks.
"I applied for pretty much all the AD jobs out there I thought I could handle," said Contorchick. "I am very happy where I ended up."
This is the first time Contorchick has been an AD, although he has headed some committees and smaller groups. A goal for Contorchick in the first couple of months is to get to know the district and its students, teachers, parents and athletes.
He also has some ideas on how to improve the athletic program in the district, which Contorchick said involves things like equipment and facilities.
"I want to figure out how I can best help this athletic program," said Contorchick.
Contorchick said he has spoken with many of the local athletic directors, and has gotten a chance to get to know the Winnisquam coaches. He said everyone has been incredibly helpful in the beginning stages of his position.
"They are all really helping me in the process of moving along," said Contorchick.
After teaching for 14 years, Contorchick said this will be a major change. He is ready for the challenge, he said.
"I find that I actually like this type of problem solving, paper pushing and other aspects of the job," said Contorchick. "I am really looking forward to it."