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Winnisquam has its man

Bow's Rick Hinck takes over as Bears athletic director

New Winnisquam AD Rick Hinck took his post in Tilton two weeks ago. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
August 01, 2011
TILTON It's been quite the interesting process to find a replacement for departed athletic director Jeff Cloos at Winnisquam Regional High School. The Bears administration thought they had found their next AD early last month, but that candidate decided to resign before taking the reigns.

With Cloos settled into his new job at Inter-Lakes, Winnisquam finally found its man in Bow resident Rick Hinck, who began work in Tilton just two weeks ago. The first-time AD spent last year as a long-term substitute teacher at Winnisquam Middle School, so he is familiar with the area and the district he now finds himself in.

"It's a tremendous opportunity," Hinck said at the high school last week. "Being a long-term sub at the middle school last year, the administrators knew who I was so they approached me about the position and I thought, 'This is really what I'm about.' So basically I'm hitting the ground running."

Hinck's background in athletics traces back to his college roots, as he was a physical education major at Springfield College (Mass.) before transferring to UNH and earning his degree in business administration. After college, Hinck went into banking and picked up a masters' degree in accounting. He also became heavily involved in the youth and local sports community in Bow, as he helped found the Bow Little League, eventually becoming the president of the organization.

But Hinck's life and career path changed dramatically in 2004, when he lost his first wife and a daughter in a car accident. Hinck, who was injured in the accident as well, shattering the top of his tibia, decided to refocus his life as a result of the horrific event. He got his teaching certification and taught in Derry for several years before landing in Tilton last year in the computer department.

"I've kind of come full circle," Hinck explained.

Having been a Bow resident since 1990, Hinck saw his own children climb through the world of athletics. His son played four years of football and wrestling at Bow High School while his daughter Kaitlyn was a 12-letter winner at the school. She is now entering her senior year at Bryant College, where she's a co-captain of the women's soccer team.

"My life has been heavily around sports and I got involved in Bow quite a bit," Hinck said. "So I've been in that role before as far as taking care of rosters, attending meetings and that sort of thing."

While the circumstances that led him to landing the job may not have been the most conventional, Hinck isn't worried about what went on before he signed on the dotted line.

"I guess I'm not concerned about who applied, who had the job," he explained. "Basically I just got the ball and I'm running with it. When you go through the other experience I mentioned, you basically get handed a choice of which direction you're going to take things. Are you going to make the most of things, or are you going to dwell on the negative? I'm sure there's going to be problems, it's athletics. But you'll just go forward and solve them as best as you can."

There's been plenty to do in the short time he's been AD, with football conditioning slated for Aug. 10 and the rest of the sports opening on the 15th.

"I haven't had a chance to interact with too many people in the staff so far as the AD but I certainly know people from last year," Hinck said. "The scheduling is all done for the entire year so that is a blessing. It seems like there's something different every day so I'm basically just really prepping for that first wave when we go through the signups and get practices going. Then just following up on all the NHIAA requirements and going from there."

While Hinck doesn't have prior AD experience to rely on, he said he's looking forward to the ability to make his own imprint on the new position.

"Jeff (Cloos) has been extremely helpful," he began. "He left all of his old files so I've been going through that, seeing how some of the stuff is done so I'm not reinventing the wheel or upsetting any apple carts. But at the same token, seeing what I can put my own stamp on. As time goes on, then you tweak things. But it's been a very well run program to my knowledge so the biggest thing is to make sure there's no glaring mistakes, things that should be avoidable."

The success of the program across the board is also something that excites Hinck, as the Bears have several sports that should be successful again this year.

"We've got some sports that are right near the top," he said. "And we start off right away with volleyball defending their championship. The other sports too, it's always exciting to see the growth, that's the whole reason you have sports. Everybody starts off 0-0, so the main thing is you don't have a negative experience and like I said, just continue to grow."

And when the season does finally get going, Hinck said he'll be watching how it all unfolds.

"I think right now, I have to do a lot of observation," he said. "Just see how practices and things go then adjust according to what I need. I'm certainly not going to Monday morning quarterback, that's not my things. If there's something glaringly wrong, I'll step in but it all depends on the situation. Then I'll sit down after the season and discuss with coaches about how the season went, what could've gone differently."

The focus on sportsmanship at the school is also something Hinck cares about, as Winnisquam has a solid reputation with the NHIAA in that arena.

"That's an emphasis we're going to continue," he explained. "I think that just makes you better off as an adult later on in life. We'll certainly continue stressing sportsmanship and I think the kids will continue to be advocates for it going forward."

Winnisquam will hold its annual fall sports sign-up today, Aug. 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the high school.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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