Soucy excited to take over Tomahawks program

Merrimack High School principal Ken Johnson said the Tomahawks would have a new athletic director during the month of September, and he wasn’t kidding.

Johnson and school officials wasted no time after the resignation of former AD Eric Sabean in naming Mike Soucy, a counselor at the school, as Sabean’s permanent successor.

Soucy however, won’t officially start transitioning to his new job, Johnson said, “until a suitable replacement can be found for the counselor position.”

“I’m thrilled,” Soucy said. “I love the school I’m in, I love the community, and I love athletics. This is all positive for me.”

Soucy, 49, began his professional career in the mortage business, a 17-year run, and has coached for 26 years.

He later transitioned to education fulltime, being at Merrimack for the better part of the last eight years. He actually applied for the AD position five years ago when Sabean was ultimately hired, “but that was to just go through the process. This is totally

different.”

Soucy isbetter known to local sports fans as the head boys basketball coach at Hollis Brookline High School, where he formerly coached boys lacrosse.

Although he’s spoken with the HB administration, he wouldn’t comment about his future as the Cavaliers coach until he meets with his players after the long holiday weekend.

When Sabean, who will remain at Merrimack for a bit in a transition period, resigned, Johnson didn’t even open up the position, contacting Soucy almost

immediately.

“I’m thrilled that (Johnson) has placed that kind of trust in me,” Soucy said, ” and I’m going to work my tail off to return the favor.”

Soucy was a logical in-house choice as he filled in for a traveling Sabean during a busy tournament time in the first week of last June and had shadowed the AD on numerous occasions, expressing an interest in an athletic administrative career.

“I moved within 24 hours,” Johnson said. “Mike is very gifted in the written word, the spoken word. I’m very excited. He worked that week on the job in June when we hosted the Division I track meet and did a remarkable job.

“He has high energy, and has been grooming himself. This is a job that puts a lot of demands on your time and demands a lot of energy. He has that totally. He has great organizational skills and great vision for what he wants to accomplish.”

Soucy will be the fifth athletic director in Johnson’s 16 years as principal, as before him were Jon Hall, Joe Raycraft (in a return for a couple of years), Andy Krahling (five years) and Sabean (five years).

“There’s been a period of time when we’ve had some challenges,” Johnson said, but he gave credit to Sabean as the Tomahawks are in line to win the NHIAA’s Division I Sportsmanship Award for a year ago.

Despite those challenges of the past, Johnson did not open up/advertise the position, nor did he interview anyone else. He went right to Soucy.

“I had the full support (of school district officials),” he said. “Mike had been working with Eric the last couple of years.”

Soucy says he is fully committed.

“I’ve always thought this was the direction I wanted my career to go,” Soucy said. “This could be my last job.”

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