WILMINGTON — On Tuesday, the week-plus rumor was officially confirmed that Wilmington High School Athletic Director Tim Alberts resigned to take the same position at Triton Regional. He is expected to start his new job on August 1st.
So the million dollar question now is who will replace Alberts here at Wilmington?
With the new school year to begin in six weeks or so, the timing of this news puts Wilmington into a tough spot for various reasons, but mostly because the more highly qualified people may not apply because of commitments to their current positions.
In my opinion, the school's next Athletic Director needs to be someone with a tremendous amount of administration experience. Look what happened when Wilmington hired a former superintendent who had no experience? The Town is still absorbing that monstrous hit.
A big problem you constantly hear about Wilmington is the lack of pay. Across the board from administrators to teachers to coaches — for years and decades — dedicated people's paychecks are well below the averages of surrounding towns. If this doesn’t change, in my opinion, the revolving door will continue.
Alberts was here for three years and he saw many revolving doors with administrators and that couldn't have been easy. During that brief time, he cleaned up some messes and was able to turn some things around. He is leaving in several weeks and there's a lot of work left to be done. There will also be a lot of extremely tough decisions to be made in the near or distant future with the next AD.
A few examples:
1). Is the Middlesex League really for Wilmington? If not, then where?
2). What about ice times for the hockey teams — girls still practice in Stoneham, why? New rink on the horizon — if that happens will all Wilmington kids come first?
3). Will Wilmington continue to play Tewksbury in Football on Thanksgiving? If so, what about the other sports continuing to play the Redmen, since the two schools only play each other in limited sports. If the tradition that goes back to the 1930s were to end, then who would Wilmington play instead?
4). Is adding a Gymnastics program the right or wrong move? What about the future of the Co-Op Swim team?
5). What can be done about improving off-season programs for all student-athletes in every sport?
6). Will varsity assistant coaches get paid in every sport? Will the kids continue to not have user's fees?
My hope is the new AD has a long background in coaching and teaching, knows what it takes to compete, and knows how to develop student-athletes while teaching the so important life-lessons and those important keys can be carried down to the coaches. To me, all ADs need to be able to coach their coaches.
We need Wilmington to get back to being Wilmington again. It hasn't been that way for a quite some time.
The easy solution to replacing Tim Alberts is to bring back Ed Harrison on an interim basis until WPS can find the perfect fit.
Harrison retired three years ago so his hours would have to be limited, but certainly it would be such an easy transition for a few months. If he were to be named and then got help with one full-time Faculty Manager to handle the everyday games and a social media person, the glue would stick for a few months. That would allow the Town of Wilmington plenty of time from now until December or so, to find a qualified, experienced person, who is not just right for the job, but right for the town.
Those people are out there. It's time for Wilmington to do its homework and find that right person.