SEARSPORT — After weeks of searching, Searsport District High School has found its new full-time athletic director.

At the Regional School Unit 20 School Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28, the hiring of 49-year-old Pete Doehla of Camden, who has lived in the Midcoast three years and originally is from New Haven, Conn., was approved.

Doehla replaces Chris Hart, who stepped down from that position after two years to take the same position at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Josh Toothaker, principal at SDHS, and Kim Andersson, dean of students, filled the athletic administrator role in the interim until Doehla was hired.

“We’re excited to have Pete aboard,” said Toothaker. “We were impressed with his enthusiasm for youth sports and a desire to connect our athletic programs to the greater community.”

Doehla is a 1991 graduate of New Canaan High School in Connecticut and went on to graduate from New England College in Heniker, N.H. in 1995 with a degree in business. He also played college lacrosse as a member of the Pilgrims.

Lacrosse was Doehla’s first love, but he played many sports in high school, including football, hockey, baseball and basketball.

He also has been a coach in the Pen Bay Lacrosse system at The PITCH in Warren since he and his family moved to the Midcoast three years ago and previously coached lacrosse on the club level in Connecticut.

Doehla said, in his first few days on the job at athletic director, “the support I have been given from everyone in the school system and Searsport community has been overwhelming.”

“It shows me that they have an extremely high standard for education and the development of their student-athletes,” he said. “I’m very excited to join the Searsport team and bring my own background in athletics and business and build upon the incredibly foundation I’ve been given.”

Doehla, who has worked on Wall Street nearly 25 years, also continues to work remotely as the Managing Director of Institutional Sales and Trading at Ladenburg Thalman & Co. in New York, in addition to his new role as athletic director.

He said the timing for his new position could not be better now that his sons, Wily and Theo, are in high school athletics at Camden Hills, which allows Doehla to transition from coaching lacrosse to his new position at Searsport.

Doehla, who also will lead the Searsport District Middle School athletic programs, said he is excited “to help grow the athletic programs and the student-athletes on and off the field.”

“It’s a great way to be involved in athletics around the communities I live in now,” he said. “And I’m just excited to be a part of it.”