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Cheverus AD 'honored' by national citation

Sports

Cheverus AD 'honored' by national citation

In his nearly three decades as the athletic director at Cheverus High School, Gary Hoyt has been considered one of the finest in the state.

Earlier this month in Texas, Hoyt went national, earning a National Federation of State High School Associations Citation recognizing his work as an outstanding athletic director at the local, state and national level.

"It's nice to know you've made a difference and that the difference is not only recognized in your own school and state, but also nationally," said Hoyt. "It's an honor."

Hoyt, 59, has served as Cheverus AD for 28 years, but that only begins to tell his story. A Thornton Academy and University of Maine graduate, Hoyt first came to Cheverus as a chemistry, biology and physics teacher. Hoyt has served as a coach as well as an administrator and has led the school through countless changes (most notably the inclusion of female students) and rapid recent growth.

"Gary sees the big picture from the perspective of a parent, a coach, a teacher and an administrator," said Kennebunk High athletic director Thor Nilsen, a longtime colleague. "He is a role model for others to follow. His energy, dedication to his school and his commitment to athletics have allowed Gary to create a first-class program and facility. Over his career he has had a tremendous impact on athletics at the local and state levels. His service and leadership working on various sub-committees, including Sports Medicine, Officials Fees, and Sportsmanship, has not gone unnoticed. For his efforts through the years, Gary's recognition at the national level is fitting and well deserved."

Hoyt has won several professional awards, implemented a "Coaching for Character" program and helped create the athletic portion of Cheverus' web site. He helped develop and raise funds to build the Shea Field Athletic Complex and was instrumental in the completion of athletic practice facilities and an on-campus gym. Hoyt has presented at the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators' Association conference on 10 occasions and has served on the Maine Principals' Association's Ice Hockey Committee, Sports Medicine Committee and Coaches Education Committee.

All of the above helped make this citation a slam dunk.

Hoyt, in his typical fashion, downplayed the award and praised others.

"I'm thankful for the heritage and legacy at Cheverus and in Maine," he said. "Without them, I never would have had an opportunity."

Longtime Cheverus boys' lacrosse coach Deke Andrew said that Hoyt has had a tremendous effect on him personally, as well as the school and athletic community.

"Gary is the most significant figure of my adult life," Andrew said. "His guidance and stability have been a key to my growth both as a coach and a person. Not only does he possess an innate ability to find high quality coaches, but his unwavering leadership creates an environment where they can succeed. His sense of duty to the Cheverus community is tireless. Gary is a presence at the school six days a week, 12 hours a day.

"It's difficult in words to do justice to the impact Gary makes on Maine high school athletics. He is without question the most progressive thinker. Never satisfied with the status quo, Gary looks to do what is best for the athletes and growth of their sport. His rare ability to create league schedules from scratch makes him the go-to resource for athletic directors around the state of Maine.

Making the award even sweeter was the company of his wife, Margaret, and two of his three children in Texas.

"The ceremony was an incredible production," Hoyt said. "It was wonderful to have my family there with me.

"Another nice part of this was that I reconnected with people from the past through notes, calls and cards."

Perhaps the best news of all is that Hoyt plans to remain an active athletic director for the foreseeable future, doing everything he can not only for Cheverus, but for high school sports in general.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net