By Matt Williams
---- — There’s nothing quite like coming home again, and Andy St. Pierre couldn’t be happier to be doing so this summer.
St. Pierre will take over as athletic director at his native Danvers High School beginning July 1. He was selected from a deep applicant pool that yielded a dozen interviews for the search committee and will be taking over for the retiring John Sullivan, who took the post in the fall of 2003.
“It’s very exciting for me. My family is excited too. Danvers is a really solid district with a great staff that is very positive and supportive,” said St. Pierre, who grew up in town and graduated from St. John’s Prep in 1999.
St. Pierre, 33, is serving as business manager at St. Joseph Prep in Boston, where he also served as an assistant football coach. He graduated from Harvard University in 2003 and worked for Boston College as their assistant business manager as well.
“Andy is the best person to take Danvers High athletics to the next level,” said high school principal Susan Ambrozavitch. “In his interview, he talked about the importance of the total student-athlete over and over. That’s what his primary focus is — the betterment of the student-athlete.”
Danvers is in the process of renovating Dr. Deering Stadium and adding field turf, and their recently opened high school building is a tremendous asset, facility-wise. The modern athletic director balances scheduling, budgeting and sports information, among other responsibilities, and St. Pierre said his focus will always remain on his athletes first.
“When you break it all down, at the end of the day, it’s about those student-athletes. At a place like Danvers, that’s strong athletically and academically, you don’t have to come in and make a lot of changes. They’ve done a lot right,” said St. Pierre. “It’s about a positive experience for the student-athletes, and with all the technology or administrative work that evolves, that’s one thing that doesn’t change.”
The Falcon athletic program has enjoyed great success over the last decade under Sullivan’s watch. The boys basketball team has won two state titles under coach John Walsh and become a recognized state power, while the girls soccer team under Jimmy Hinchion is always among the best in the area. Coach Roger Day’s baseball team is a perennial contender in both the Northeastern Conference and Division 2 North, as is coach Kevin Brown’s boys hockey team.
The Danvers football team won the NEC South last year and will have a new coach this fall in Shawn Theriault, and that’s really just a small sample of what the Blue-and-White have come to stand for.
“It speaks really highly of all those coaches, and also of the community of Danvers,” St. Pierre said. “It’s proof that there are some great things going on, and I know there will be people who can help with the transition and with any advice.”
St. Pierre brings an athletic background that includes playing football at Harvard, where he was a receiver. He helped St. John’s Prep win a Super Bowl in 1997 with his older brother Brian (recently named SJP head football coach) as quarterback, and also played lacrosse for the Eagles.
“He’ll be a great role model for our student-athletes,” said Ambrozavitch. “We want him to get the lay of the land in the first year, to get to know how important athletics are at Danvers High. He has good knowledge coming into the job and I’m looking forward to him bringing his ideas and goals into the program.”
St. Pierre lives in Wenham with his wife and family, and said he’s looking forward to catching up on some of the issues facing the Northeastern Conference. He was impressed with Danvers’ school building and the folks he met during the interview process as well.
“I’m really excited to start meeting some of the people, and some of the student-athletes. Everyone I’ve worked with so far in Danvers has been great,” he said. “I can’t wait to start building up some relationships.”