SMITHFIELD – After former athletic director Chris Coderre made the tough decision to step down and pursue a new career opportunity, Smithfield High School has announced the hiring of Jason Gove.
Coderre was hired in July of 2017 after Tony Torregrossa left the position, and had been in place until about three or four weeks ago.
“He got a great offer with a great opportunity for him and his family,” Smithfield principal Dan Kelley said. “He was helping us out when he could.”
The timing couldn’t be worse, as fall sports had started and schools were reopening for the year amidst the ongoing pandemic.
“Between myself and the assistant principals we are wearing many hats,” Kelley commented.
Having spent plenty of afternoons and nights at Sentinel games, Kelley was familiar with some things, but credits his coaches for helping him learn the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s system, as well as everything else a high school AD has to deal with.
“I have a whole new appreciation for the AD,” Kelley told The Breeze.
After last year with most sports not allowing fans, Kelley was happy to see a great crowd back at Smithfield for Friday night lights and the Sentinels’ opening football game and first win in while.
Once Coderre decided to leave, the job was posted and it was a lengthy process because of the timing. Kelley said there were a lot of interested candidates who decided against leaving their programs because of the timing.
“Chris left on great terms and we wish him well,” Kelley said.
More than 40 people applied for the job, and after the interviewing process, Kelley said that he and Gallagher Middle School principal Laurie Beauvais decided on Gove. He will officially start on Monday, Sept. 20.
Gove comes from being an administration supervisor in regard to travel for Waters Corporation. Before that, he worked with the New England Revolution as the director of Soccer Operations. He was also the head junior varsity boys’ soccer coach at Northbridge High School in Massachusetts.
In a press release, Kelley said of Gove, “He fully believes that academics, character, discipline and sportsmanship are essential components of a successful athletics program. This is an exciting time for our athletic department.”
Gove is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Business Administration program with a specific focus in athletic administration. Before that, he attended Nichols College and received a bachelorof science degree in business administration, specializing in sports management.
“I’m honored and excited to be the next athletic director of Smithfield Public Schools,” Gove stated in the press release. “There’s always been a great athletic tradition here, and we will do everything possible to uphold that. I want to thank Mr. Kelley and Dr. Beauvais for providing this opportunity as well as Supt. (Judy) Paolucci. I am very eager to start this new challenge.”