Searsport District high school and middle school have a new athletic director and assistant principal in the form of Washington resident John Williamson.

Williamson, 61, was approved for the position at the July 22 Regional School Unit 20 school board meeting.

Most recently, Williamson, who also has a residence in Pittston, was a science teacher at Richmond High School.

Williamson is a 1971 graduate of Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, where he was a two-sport athlete for the Bulldogs, participating in football and track and field. He then went on to attend the University of Maine in Farmington, where he graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in biology.

Williamson was a research assistant in Florida for a few years before returning to Maine, where he has taught for 34 years.

He also also dabbled in other sports such as soccer, ice hockey and rugby, the latter of which he has played on and off for several years in various leagues.

“I'm really excited,” said Williamson of being the new AD. “It seems like a great school. Everybody I've talked to is warm and friendly [and the school] is very well supported by the town. We have a great tradition in athletics and I'm looking forward to being part of that.”

Williamson said his knowledge of Searsport is admittedly small as most of his interaction with the town was merely as a passerby as a youth where he had relatives that lived in Machias.

However, he said, “Lately we've been spending a lot of time in Belfast and we've just fallen in love with the area.”

While it has been several years since he coached, Williamson coached several varsity sports while at Richmond, such as girls basketball, softball and boys soccer.

Williamson's approach to sports, be it as a coach or now as an athletic director, is a simple one.

“Sportsmanship comes first,” he said. “Sports is a great way to learn all kinds of things. Teamwork, working with people, sportsmanship [and] how to be graceful winners and losers because you're not going to win every match.

“If it's good for the kids, it's a good thing to try to make happen.”

Williamson is not the only now former Richmond High School faculty member to snare an athletic director position on the coast this month as Molly Bishop also has been named the new athletic director at Oceanside High School.

While Searsport is a Western Class D school and Oceanside an Eastern Class B school, the two likely will see their middle school athletic programs clash in the Busline League from time to time.

Williamson has a wife, Rosie, and five children ranging from ages 25 to 31.