Mark McCarthy, the regional high school athletic director, has been selected to receive the Theodore (Ted) Damko District D award from the Massachusetts Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Association.
The annual award is given to an athletic director in each district with three to five years’ experience who “has exemplified the highest standards in their profession and has made significant contributions to their school and community,” according to the association’s press release.
Mr. McCarthy is in his fourth academic year as athletic director. He also held the position in the late 1980s. In the interim, he pursued a career in sports medicine in Connecticut. He was nominated for the award by two of his colleagues, athletic directors Kim M. DoCouto of Somerset-Berkley Regional High School and Tom Pileski of Coyle-Cassidy in Taunton.
“Just the nomination is great, but then to actually receive the award is amazing,” Mr. McCarthy said by telephone on Wednesday. “It’s something you don’t strive to do. You don’t strive to win awards, you just try to do the best job you can,” he said. He said coordinating the athletic programming on Martha’s Vineyard was not an easy task, complicated by scheduling difficulties and off-Island transport.
His favorite part of the job is working with students, which he’d like to be able to do more often, he said.
“I do try to do different things to try to get to know the kids as best I can, but when you have over 300 athletes it’s tough to get to know everybody,” he said.
Within the association the state is broken up into eight different geographical districts. The regional high school is in district D.
“The people from his district think he is doing a good job and they wanted to recognize his work,” said Dick Baker, spokesman for the Massachusetts Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Association.
The award recipients will be honored at a banquet in Hyannis in March.
High school principal Dr. Stephen Nixon announced the award at the school committee meeting Tuesday, emphasizing the added difficulty of the job during a harsh winter.
Mr. McCarthy, meanwhile, expressed admiration for the other members of his field. “I am sure there are a dozen other ADs that are all worthy,” he said. “It’s not an easy job by any means.”