Before she graduated from Medomak Valley, Molly Bishop attended Lincoln Academy for three years. She remembers games against Georges Valley and Rockland, the schools that merged to create the current Oceanside High School. She still goes shopping in Rockland.

So when the athletic director’s job at Oceanside became open, it wasn’t just a chance for Bishop to move up, it was a chance to go home.

Bishop left her positions as athletic director and girls basketball coach at Richmond to become the AD at Oceanside. She’s in charge of five different schools in the Oceanside district, covering students in grades six through 12.

“I was looking for a full-time athletic director position,” Bishop said. “I liked to do it at Richmond.”

Jon Spear replaced Bishop as the athletic director at Richmond. Spear has been the boys basketball coach at Richmond for two seasons, and is also the school’s instrumental music teacher for grades five through 12.

“When the job came up two or three years ago, both Molly and I applied for it,” Spear said. “She was a little bit more established in the school. But it’s something I was interested in and continued to be interested in.”

“I think Jon will do a great job,” Bishop said. “He’s excited. He wants to make things better and provide more opportunities. He brings such a diverse background.”

Bishop coached the Bobcats for eight seasons, and won three straight Western D titles from 2011-13. She said she met with some of her players after deciding to leave the school.

“The grapevine works pretty fast, so most of them already knew through social media,” Bishop said. “I wanted to let them know that it had nothing to do with Richmond, except Richmond couldn’t offer the same job opportunity.”

In addition to the five schools, Oceanside is mainly a Class B school, so that’s also an adjustment from Class D Richmond. Bishop’s first official day at Oceanside was Aug. 1. Former Oceanside athletic director Jim Leonard is now in the same position at Maine Central Institute.

“In Richmond, you might have a soccer coach, and an assistant,” Bishop said dryly. “Now, there seems to be an assistant for the varsity coach, and a JV coach, and a freshman coach — and some of them have assistants. I’m doing a pretty decent job of putting names and faces together, but I’m not always exactly sure which job title they have at this point in time.”

Bishop said the biggest thing she’ll miss about coaching is the direct interaction with the players.

“They provide a lot of energy that makes your job fun,” she said.

Spear’s brother, Tim, is the athletic director at Gorham High School. Jon Spear said he will probably step back from his involvement with the drama program but will remain as music teacher and boys basketball coach.

“My predecessors have done a great job,” Spear said. “Richmond has a pretty rich tradition of success in their extracurriculars. I want to look at that, and I want to look at, ‘How can I improve on that?'”

Spear said he doesn’t want Richmond student-athletes to feel like they can’t have certain things because of the school’s small size.

“I want to give them every opportunity that I can give them,” he said. “If I have someone who’s interested in swimming, can I find a way to foster that, even though we don’t have a pool — that type of thing.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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