Lawlor leading the way at Brewster Academy
New athletic director settling in nicely in first six months
|MATT LAWLOR stands in the Smith Center gymnasium in front of some of Brewster’s many championship banners. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
November 29, 2010WOLFEBORO — Matt Lawlor walks into his office every day and can look out at a view over Wolfeboro Bay. But his job allows him to look out over people from all over the world.
In his new position as the athletic director at Brewster Academy, Lawlor has begun settling in to the Wolfeboro community and is enjoying his time in the Lakes Region.
"It's been a great transition," Lawlor said. "We've really enjoyed the school and the area.
"Wolfeboro's a great community to be a part of," Lawlor continued.
Lawlor and his wife moved to the area in the summer and he started at Brewster Academy in June.
The new man in charge of Brewster athletics has been quick to form bonds with many of the other athletic folks in the Wolfeboro community.
"We have a great working relationship with Andrea (Ogden, Kingswood's athletic director)," Lawlor said. "I've really enjoyed my first six months here.
"And Ethan (Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Director Ethan Hipple) has been very flexible working with our schedule at Pop Whalen Arena," Lawlor said.
Additionally, Lawlor has enjoyed meeting with many different people from the Wolfeboro community.
He noted that the Kingswood football team used the school's fitness facility in the summer as the Knights prepared for the new season, local police officers use the indoor track and fitness area for training tests and many people come in and use the facility on a daily basis.
"I learned a lot about the town from people who work out here and use our facility," Lawlor said.
Additionally, the Brewster Academy community has also been quite welcoming to Lawlor.
"This is a great school community from the top down," Lawlor said. From administration to faculty to staff, it's all impressive."
The Smith Center, which is the main athletic facility on the Brewster campus, is also the cornerstone of the campus, according to Lawlor.
"The facility is great for our student body and school and is a recruiting took as well," Lawlor stated.
The Bobcats traditionally put out strong teams in every sport and Lawlor is excited for the prospects of championships that his teams have the chance to bring home.
"We feel as though we should be competing for championships in every sport," Lawlor said. He pointed out that two of his fall teams were in the Lakes Region Championships and two cross country runners were in the New England championships.
However, Lawlor noted that the athletes at Brewster are students first, then athletes.
"The student-athletes here are just top-notch," Lawlor noted. "They're not just students and athletes, they're great kids."
And when students make it to Brewster, they have the chance to go to school with everyone from a kid from Wolfeboro to a teen from Southeast Asia.
"You have a chance at Brewster to go to school with the world," Lawlor said. "Your lab partner may be from Latvia, Middle East or Italy.
"That's unique, that's an education in itself," he continued.
Lawlor noted that when he visited the school last year, he spent a long time just talking to many of the athletes, soaking up all they had to offer.
Lawlor came to Brewster from southern New England, where he served as a teacher and coach of three sports at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn. and was also the athletic director at Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury, Conn.
His brother, Kevin, is currently a math teacher at Brewster and has served as a coach as well.
"It's nice to be close to family," Lawlor said.
He has a long history of playing and coaching football, baseball and basketball and he says the best part of his job at Brewster is getting the chance to be a part of every sport.
"I love being out and around the fields at practice time to talk to the coaches and be a good sounding board," he said. "I need to pay attention to all the programs. I love watching the games, but what's maybe just as fun is watching the coaches conduct their practices."
Lawlor was also quick to praise the many coaches who wear the Brewster colors on the sidelines every season, noting their strong recruiting abilities and commitment to their programs.
He points out that many of the coaches are former college athletes and when recruiting students to come to Brewster, that can be a big drawing point.
"That's important to kids," Lawlor said. "They know what it takes to get to the next level and our student-athletes want to be at the next level."
He notes that the coaches' experience makes it easier to get the kids to go along with what they want done.
"There's no complaining," he said. "Not only on the field, but in the classroom."
And he is also quick to say that even the teachers who don't coach can be spotted at the games on a regular basis.
"That just creates more of a positive atmosphere," Lawlor said.
Lawlor points out that the private school community is incredibly competitive and Brewster can't afford to sit back and relax.
"The private school world is becoming more and more competitive," Lawlor said. "We can't afford to be complacent."
Lawlor's goal as athletic director is to get every program at Brewster to reach its full potential and he is pleased that his time at the school has gotten off to a solid start with a New England championship for field hockey and an appearance in the semifinals for the girls' soccer team.
"We want every sport to be at that level (full potential)," Lawlor said. "We can do that because of our ability to attract student-athletes and to bring in great coaches."
With six months under his belt, Lawlor has seen plenty of good from Brewster and the Wolfeboro community in general and he is plenty excited about what lies ahead.