After 32 years at Mount View High School, Dan Fitzpatrick, the Mustangs’ current athletic director, has declared he is ready to retire.

Fitzpatrick, now 58, said that this year the timing is right and he would like to start a new phase of his life. However, he said he will miss the people he has worked with so long in different capacities in Maine School Administrative District 3.

“For most of the time, most of the people [at Mount View] have treated each other more like family than as people you are working with day in and day out and it’s been an incredible, very positive experience,” he said. “I do feel a connection almost like family. I was one of 14 kids; family, to me, is very important.”

For more than three decades, Fitzpatrick has worked at Mount View High School in a variety of capacities, both through athletics and academics. He taught social studies for about 29 years and has been athletic director the last four.

The first year he came to the school he became a baseball coach, then in the next few yeas he also became the varsity golf coach, a freshmen basketball coach and junior varsity baseball coach.

He said for about 18 years he was coaching a sport each season. In fact, he coached golf the most, with a 26-consecutive-year run.

Currently he lives in Brooks with his wife of 37 years, Donna.

One might think that after recent hip surgery, Fitzpatrick has decided to leave education for medical reasons. According to him, that is not the case at all. In fact, he said he thought about retirement long before any medical complications but stayed to ease the transition into the new Mount View High School building in the fall.

According to Fitzpatrick, a large part of why he is leaving his career is not so large at all — it weighs fewer than 25 pounds, cannot yet communicate with words, and is “cute as a button.”

“I don’t know what happens when people become grandparents … but they just become idiots in some ways about some things,” he said. “I never understood it until we had a grandson and now it’s just, without being able to explain, it’s just very different, but we do want to be a part of his world.”

Fitzpatrick’s grandson, Conlan, lives near Fort Lauderdale Fla, and the athletic director wants to live close by to be part of his life. Fitzpatrick’s middle son, Brad had Conlan last July. “Well he didn’t do it his wife did most of the work, brad went along for the ride,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick has two other sons, Danny and Patrick.

Currently, the AD’s plans are not set in stone, but Fitzpatrick said he plans to move to central Florida when his house sells in Maine.

When asked if his relationship with Mount View will be gone with a move to Florida he said, “No, it’s going to be long distance.” He has told people from the school to visit in cold weather and hopes his close proximity to Orlando and the related attractions will draw plenty of Maine visitors.

Fitzpatrick said that he will miss the job and the memories that have been created at the school for students and staff. What stands out most for him in his 32 years is when people remember the joy that athletics brought them.

“Whether or not we put another gold ball in the trophy case or another banner on the wall, which is always great, the fact that people look back and are glad that they were participating for something speaks volumes about what we have done,” Fitzpatrick said. “If they hold onto [the memories], then that is something special and I’m glad that I have been a part, just a small part, of something like that.”

Fitzpatrick said that on his departure, he could not put in large enough lettering “a great big thank you” to the community. “I have always felt from the first year that I have got here, and I still feel it now, that there is an overwhelming amount of support from the communities towards the school,” he said.

“People around here are generous to a fault,” he said. “They are groups and there are individuals who will do anything and everything that they can to help the kids succeed in the classroom, or on the fields, or on the courts.”

He also thanked the school’s maintenance staff, administrative staff, and faculty who had supported him throughout his Mustang career and said that he certainly was not the athletic director alone.

Even in Florida, Fitzpatrick said he would love to keep in touch and an eye on the school and the people there, and will miss it dearly. “Even though I will be someplace else, my heart, in some ways, will always be a part of what Mount View is,” he said.

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.