After a controversial year marred by a hazing incident involving several members of the boys basketball program, a new athletic director is coming to Andover with a plan to remind team leaders about the important role they hold.
Don Doucette, the athletic director at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School for the past seven years, has been appointed to replace Athletic Director Chris Bergeron, who announced last month that he was stepping down.
Doucette is known in local sports circles for coaching the University of Massachusetts Lowell basketball team to victory in the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1988. That year, he was also named “National Coach of the Year” by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Doucette, 60, said he believes the school has one of the top five Division I athletic programs in the state and is looking forward to starting his new job.
“I am anxious to get started and meet people, student athletes and coaches,” he said. “And get everything up and running with the program.”
“We are delighted that Don has chosen to take our school to the next level through the athletic lens,” said new Andover High Principal Christopher Lord. “He has a great experience in collegiate and secondary athletics that he brings to Andover. He has terrific social skills and has implemented a student leadership program at Hamilton-Wenham that Andover Warriors can now enjoy.”
Lord wrote in a letter announcing the news that one of Doucette’s primary initiatives in the fall will be a student leadership program that has been proven to help team captains understand the important role they play on their teams and for the school. The program will reach out to all of the school’s after-school programs, he said.
Doucette will officially start on Aug. 21 with a revised athletic policy approved by the School Committee at the end of June. Some changes include stricter hazing consequences, requirements for teams to perform a community service project and raising the minimum academic standards to a 2.0 grade point average for students to participate in sports.