What needs to be done?
And or is everything? August 19, right outside his office in boxes.
Derek Phinney has since moved in after taking over as acting athletic director at Millis High School.
There’s still much to do.
Phinney’s first order of business after starting the job on August 15 was to create a case for the nearly 150 email inquiries he had received. Then it was to the helmets.
Thanks to a large freshman class of 16 players — part of the 62 who came out for college and high school football — he was busy reaching out to other schools with lower numbers in a bid to get a helmet.
The higher-than-expected turnout was “a good problem to have,” he said.
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Phinney is entering her 13th year at the school as a health and wellness instructor. He was Chuck Grant’s AD assistant for the previous three years.
“I kind of learn on the job and figure that out while teaching an entire class load,” Phinney said. “I’m just trying to keep myself out of the water and do whatever it takes – equipment and safety – to get the kids out in the field. I’ll clean everything up as I go.
Grant, who was at Millis for 20 years before taking a job at Tiverton High School in Rhode Island, said via text that Phinney’s ability to “adapt on the fly will come in handy with the ever-changing job duties of today” which include shortages of buses and referees. as well as hiring coaches.
Phinney knows how to wear the stripes of an official, refereeing soccer and basketball at the high school level since 2008 and college since 2014.
After earning a business degree from UMass Amherst in 1997, he worked in the hockey industry with player agents and in marketing. He led the New England Stars junior program in Nashua, New Hampshire, and continues to work as a part-time scout for Neutral Zone LLC.
But he sought a career change in 2009 when his twin sons, Graham and Nolan, were born. Phinney received her master’s degree in special education from Framingham State in 2018 and plans to use her experience in website development in her new role.
“I’ve been running a lot of social media (at Millis) for a few years – and building on that and giving athletes a bit of a platform to show up,” he said, “not just on the ground, but also their personalities.
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He also yearns to add to the foundation that Grant has built. His former boss thinks that won’t be a problem.
“He collaborates well,” Grant said. “He doesn’t mind playing support roles, but he’s also shown a strong ability to take charge, especially during the COVID protocol. Marketing will thrive under his leadership. He is very aware of the trends and needs of the “specialist” approach of today’s athletes.
Phinney also plans to add sports, possibly men’s tennis, pickleball and lacrosse. Although any addition will take time.
“I think with all the public schools, it’s become harder to keep some of these athletes here before they go private or prep (school),” he said.
Phinney, who lives in Medway, entered the education field to add flexibility to her schedule due to her sons’ constant involvement in sports. They also attend schools in opposite directions: Graham at Mt. St. Charles in Rhode Island; Nolan in Sudbury.
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Juggling – another constant in his life.
“I try to get my feet under me,” he said. “I have a lot of other goals that will come to fruition at some point, but I’m trying to keep it a bit simple for at least the next month.”
Tim Dumas is a multimedia journalist at the Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TimDumas.