AUGUSTA — Two years after being tabbed athletic director at Searsport District High School, Chris Hart has taken the next step of advancement in his career — namely, to head back to college.

Hart, who stepped down as the Waldo County school’s AD in late July, will take that same position at the University of Maine in Augusta.

Hart’s first day at his new position was Monday, Aug. 9. He replaces Jennifer Laney, who held the same position at UMA for six years.

Hart previously was AD at the University of Maine in Machias and Camden-Rockport Middle School.

“It’s really exciting,” said Hart. “I got my feet wet a little bit when I was at Machias. Working with collegiate athletes is really exciting. It’s a different experience and a different opportunity. And working within the UMaine system is great as well.”

It will be a similar commute for the 30-year-old Hart, who resides in Rockport.

UMA, a Division II college for athletics, competes in the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).

UMA offers basketball, cross country, track and field, golf (coed) and bowling (coed).

Hart is a 2009 Camden Hills Regional High School graduate and played baseball and basketball for the Windjammers.
He received his undergraduate degree in sports management from Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. in 2013, while he later he graduated from Southern New Hampshire University in 2017 in athletic administration and 2018 in sports management.

He was AD at CRMS and later at the University of Maine in Machias before taking the AD position at Searsport.

Hart said he “made a lot of really good connections with the students, coaches, parents and community members” and “I’ve met a lot of people I plan to stay in contact with as I carry on.”

“The students there were amazing,” said Hart of his time at Searsport. “I got to know really each and every student-athlete we had on a real personal level. That was really meaningful and special to me. And the time and effort the coaches put in. They care so much about the students. The athletic piece is important, too, but their interests in the students are really special.”

Josh Toothaker, principal at SDHS, and Kim Andersson, dean of students, will fill the role of AD at Searsport until a replacement is found.

Toothaker served as the school’s AD one year in 2018 before Hart was hired in the summer of 2019.