BUCKSPORT — Jared Foster has been at his new job for three weeks now, but it was his first day that was most memorable.
No more than a minute had passed since Foster had sat down at his desk to begin his job as Bucksport High School’s new athletic director when he saw a sticky note and a piece of paper on his desk. When he picked them up to read them, he knew he was in the right place.
“I walked in and saw this note with ‘STATE CHAMPIONSHIP BANNER’ written on it, and there was an order form for me,” Foster said. “If there’s a great thing to do on your first day, I’d say that’s it.”
Foster quickly ordered the banner, which now adorns the rafters in honor of the softball team’s Class C state title win in June. Although he’ll never have to place an easier order, he’s aware it probably won’t be the last.
He might be new to the athletic director role, but Foster is plenty accustomed to the level of winning Bucksport’s programs have achieved. Between coaching baseball and golf at two Penobscot County schools, Foster has had plenty of success in the decade-plus he’s spent in high school athletics.
A Mainer through and through, Foster graduated from Old Town and went on to play baseball at Husson University for three seasons before graduating in 2003. He later spent time as both assistant and head coach for the golf team during the school’s successful runs in both sports over the past three years.
Foster also spent time as the baseball coach at Nokomis, where he received “Coach of the Year” honors from the Morning Sentinel in Waterville after the Warriors posted one of their best seasons in years in 2016. The team continued to build upon that success in 2017 by going 14-2 in the regular season and earning a first-round bye in the Class B state tournament.
Over the summer, though, Foster felt it was time for a change. He’s held a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Maine since 2013, and when an opportunity to lead one of Hancock County’s top high school athletic programs presented itself, he decided to throw his hat in the ring.
“I’ve had that degree for a few years now, and I’d been wondering what was out there,” Foster said. “Every coach and AD out there knows about Bucksport and everything the sports teams here have done, and when I saw this job while I was browsing online one day, I thought, ‘You know, I think that would be a good move for my family, myself — everybody.’”
Foster replaces Ed Hatch, who served as athletic director and assistant principal at Bucksport before leaving to become athletic director and head principal at Deer Isle-Stonington High School last month. In addition to his role as AD, Foster also will take on Hatch’s assistant principal duties.
Along with making preparations for the upcoming fall season and working on boys’ and girls’ basketball schedules for the winter, Foster is already hitting it off with players and coaches. An avid golfer, he played nine holes with the school’s golf team last week.
“That was a great chance to get together with some of the students,” Foster said. “I think there’s a really strong connection between everybody from the students to the coaches and fans here at Bucksport. The coaches and even some of the teachers had been through my office within the first few hours. It’s a great school and a great community.”
The softball team’s championship banner is the only major purchase Foster has had to make thus far, but that might change in the near future. Ever since a trophy commemorating that win was brought home in June, the case at the entrance to Ralph Jewett Gymnasium has become even more crowded.
“There’s not a lot a lot of room in there,” Foster said. “With the tradition this school has, I know I’m probably going to have to get that checkbook ready again soon.”