Landry’s New Position as AD, Both a Win and a Loss

Mr.+Landry+works+in+his+new+office.
Mr. Landry works in his new office.

Mr. Landry works in his new office.

Mr. Landry works in his new office.

Cassidy Susi, Editor

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Chris Landry
As the Lancers sports teams dive into the fall season, they are accompanied by a new athletic director. Chris Landry, a former gym teacher, Department Chair of the Physical Education Department, and lacrosse coach at Waterford High School, is looking forward to challenging the veteran coaches to “find a way to build a culture of pride and continue to grow.”

 

Landry’s path to the AD position began at Springfield College where he received his Masters in Athletic Administration before earning his Certification in Education Leadership at Sacred Heart University. He describes these experiences as excellent programs, emphasizing the quality of Sacred Heart’s hands-on learning. These opportunities throughout his college years taught him about leading people, budget, law, facilities, and the overall management of athletics.

 

Landry addresses the respect he has for the town’s youth programs, emphasizing their importance in the growth of any sport within the community. As a main contributor to both youth and high school lacrosse in Waterford, Landry created the Waterford Youth Lacrosse Association shortly after moving to the town. In 2007, he took over what was just a club lacrosse team at Waterford High School, and shortly after, it was named a varsity sport. Throughout the decade, his program accomplished several goals, including ECC and CIAC Championship games. Due to his contributions to the community’s athletic programs, Landry was even named the 2016 and 2017 State Class S Coach of the Year and the Norwich Bulletin Coach of the Year in both 2015 and 2016.  

 

As a coach, Landry felt that “regardless of playing time,” he wanted to “find different ways to make the kids feel special” and ensure that they all had a quality experience. He adds, “For me, it was just about trying to build a culture of something special.” Dylan Eckhart, senior lacrosse player, comments on Coach Landry’s style, saying that “He never played favorites. If you were good, you played; if you weren’t good, you didn’t.” Eckhart started varsity on one of Landry’s most successful teams. As both a student and an athlete of Landry’s, Eckhart admits, “He was a really smart coach, and he knew the game better than everyone. I’m gonna miss him yelling at the refs and making them look stupid because he knew the rules better than them.”

 

Landry’s original plan was to become a teacher, like his mother, but he knew that he saw himself becoming an athletic director at some point. When discussing these career decisions, Landry states, “I just wanted to help kids wherever I could. It’s really all about the kids.”

 

Landry’s main focus as an AD, outside of dealing with storage and scheduling, is to improve communication by keeping kids and parents informed. One way he plans to implement this concept is through using programs and activities outside the classroom, called Extended Learning Opportunities, within the athletic department, for increasing sports communication. Landry’s priorities in the near future also include senior-athlete exit surveys and increasing the use of HUDL, a video analysis software in which athletes and coaches can upload, view, and edit game film.

 

Although he admits he is going to miss aspects of teaching and coaching, such as getting to know kids through everyday interaction, Landry is excited to “see things on a bigger level” as an athletic director. Students and athletes agree that they will also miss seeing Landry on a day-to day basis. Eckhart, returning to his final lacrosse season without Coach Landry, explains, “[He was always] on the sideline yelling exactly where I’m supposed to be. Like, he coached us like he had a controller in a video game.”

 

The senior concludes, “I’m gonna miss his pregame talks, he just got right to the point. Also, he was good after a loss. He wouldn’t ponder it or point anyone out, he would just move on to the next game.” Hopefully, these lessons and characteristics of Landry’s years of coaching will help both Mr. Landry and his prior student athletes, as they all move onto the next chapter of their athletic careers.

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About the Writer
Cassidy Susi, Editor

Cassidy Susi is a senior at Waterford High School and is currently employed at Recovery Restaurant in New London, Connecticut. She has played softball...

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