Colin Roy recently retired as the Hall-Dale High School athletic director. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

It was eight years ago, and Colin Roy had had enough.

He had been Mt. Ararat High School’s athletic director for 16 years, but by 2012, the job was taking its toll. The days were long. The work was unrelenting. And Roy stepped down, in need of a break.

And then his alma mater in Hall-Dale came calling.

“Coming back to Hall-Dale two years after retirement was completely unplanned for. It was just out of the blue,” he said. “And for me personally, to come back and be at my own school, where I grew up, where I taught and coached for 20 years, I couldn’t script it any better. It’s been great.”

With the arrival of this summer, however, came the end of the story. The 67-year-old Roy stepped down as the AD of H-D at the end of the school year, completing a career in high school athletics that stretched all the way back to 1976 and included jobs both on the sideline and in an administrator’s office.

“It was a great six years, and it had to end,” he said. “I have no regrets. I’m very fortunate it turned out the way it did.”

For Roy, it wasn’t a sudden decision. After coming back for his second stint at Hall-Dale, he had planned to only work five years. When those were up, he was asked back for another year, and he agreed to return.

Colin Roy recently retired as the Hall-Dale High School athletic director. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

He knew, however, that that was going to be it — though, ready as he was to leave, he acknowledged it wasn’t easy to leave a school with which he’s had such a connection.

“You miss working with the kids,” he said. “That’s the whole thing. … The part that I think I’ll miss is just watching kids compete, and watching kids grow.”

The coaches who worked under him said the school is losing a fixture.

“Colin is a legacy and an institution at Hall-Dale,” said boys basketball coach Chris Ranslow, another H-D alum who is taking Roy’s place. “I think about all of the opportunities he created for so many kids, for so many years and so many different communities. When you think about service, Colin went above and beyond.”

Jarod Richmond, who coaches the Hall-Dale girls basketball and track and field teams, said Roy was a steady ally for his coaches.

“He had my back, which as a coach, that’s great to know,” he said. “He always showed investment in your program. He was always willing to give an ear if you had questions or frustrations or just (wanted) to talk about what was going on in the program that you were running. … It makes my job as a coach so much easier.”

Roy graduated from Hall-Dale in 1970, and after attending the University of Maine came back to the school district as a geography and history teacher. He began coaching in 1976 and didn’t stop for 20 years, taking over whichever teams needed a leader. The list included football, boys basketball, baseball and girls basketball, where he coached one of the state’s finest players in Rachel Bouchard.

Roy, however, said one of his most enjoyable coaching jobs came with the softball team, which he led for eight years.

“It was the last sport I coached at Hall-Dale, and I think overall, it was really enjoyable,” he said. “When I went to Mt. Ararat, I didn’t want to give up the softball job. … We had a lot of success, and kids loved to play.”

He became the athletic director at Hall-Dale in 1989, but in 1996 he had the opportunity to run the department of a larger school at Mt. Ararat. He worked at the Topsham school until 2012, running a Class A program with some high profile teams — the 2004 baseball team had pitcher Mark Rogers, the fifth overall pick in that year’s MLB draft, and Roy had to handle the throngs of fans, media and scouts who would come to see him pitch.

“That was an eye-opening experience,” he said. “We had a couple of really high-powered basketball players. … We had some teams in those 16 years that did some really good things.”

Roy was a thorough and hard worker, and by 2012 the time demands of the job, which required him to start working early in the morning and finish up after the final games of the night, were getting to him.

“I enjoyed it a lot, and I met some great people down there and had great coaches,” he said. “The athletes were great. The only thing, that last year toward the end, (was) I just started to not like putting 75 hours in the week.”

After a year, however, Hall-Dale came calling, with the offer of a part-time athletic director position. Roy knew he was going to put in more time than the job called for, but was willing to do so to go back to his roots.

“You can’t be a 50 percent athletic director and do the job effectively. You can’t,” he said. “My hours per week were 40, 50, 55. But this was my school. You don’t come back to your school, where you grew up, where you first started teaching, and not do the right thing.

“This was the school where I belonged.”

While at Hall-Dale, Roy worked on creating more athletic avenues for his students. He helped work out a way for students who wanted to play football to play with the Winthrop/Monmouth team. Hall-Dale latched on with Gardiner in swimming. And when one Hall-Dale student wanted to play golf, Roy coached him.

“I truly believed in the benefits of being part of an athletic team,” he said. “That’s the best part of everything, is what these kids will learn about themselves.”

Roy ran his department with a focus on order and preparation. He made sure he had his schedules organized, and therefore was able to react to the many changes of plans that come with the sports season.

“It’s not rocket science,” he said. “It takes a year to get the learning curve down, where you know what you have to be doing with communication to the MPA and your own league. And after that, if you’re organized, you get it done.”

His coaches saw a man who always had a hectic world under control.

“When you’re really, really good at your job, it’s the duck on water analogy. You see a duck and it seems to be effortlessly floating along, but what you don’t see is what’s happening sub-surface,” Ranslow said. “He could have been beating his feet feverishly to get something done, to line multiple things up at the same time, and he just did it with an ease and a poise.”

Now it’s time for something else. But after a lifetime of serving Hall-Dale, Roy doesn’t expect that to change completely.

“I’ve got no big plans. I just want to kind of just sit back and take a few breaths,” he said. “I might even substitute teach. But it would be only at Hall-Dale. I won’t go anywhere else.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.