New beginnings

CRAE MESSER / Sentinel Staff

A graduate of Conant and standout athlete, Dave Springfield plans to bring his years of experience in education and coaching together to make an impact in his new role as the athletic director at Conant High School and Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School.

There is little doubt that Dave Springfield has made his mark in the Monadnock region.

He has been an athlete, a coach and an educator. Now, he adds administrator to the list.

Beginning his first academic year as the athletic director at Conant High School and Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School, he’ll be looking to extend his impact even further.

“Sometimes, in a small town, you don’t think that there are opportunities,” Springfield said, adding that the student-athletes at Conant need somebody who “has been through it” to help them along the way. If anybody has been through it at Conant, it’s him.

Springfield was born in Peterborough, where he lived for only a short time before moving to Florida. After a couple of years in the Sunshine State, he made his way back to New Hampshire and settled in Jaffrey for good.

A 1985 graduate of Conant, he helped the Orioles to back-to-back state final appearances in 1984-85, winning the program’s first title his senior year. He is one of 18 Conant players to score 1,000 points.

He did not venture too far for college, choosing Franklin Pierce. With the Ravens, he broke the school record for three-point field goal percentage, both in a single season and in a career. Both records still stand today.

Upon graduating 28 years ago, he has been coaching a number of sports at both the high school and collegiate levels, and has spent time teaching at Monadnock Regional and ConVal High School along the way.

Nothing he’s encountered has been quite like his new position. Regardless, he’s ready for the challenge.

“Being a coach for 28 years, I have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t work and I learn through my failures as well as my successes,” Springfield said.

“It means a lot. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do a good job in anything that I do.”

While Springfield has made an impact in the area, the area has had a major impact on his life. He met his wife, Nancy, while attending Conant. She was a cheerleader, he was a star on the basketball team. It was a fairy tale hometown love story. They have four children together, each has found a great deal of success at Conant.

“(My wife and I) just kind of met young, and sports have always been a huge part of our lives, so my kids just had a bat, ball, basketball, you name it, in their hands,” Springfield said.

His three oldest children, daughters Brooke and Madison and son Devin, are all members of the Conant 1,000 point club as well. All four of their names hang on a banner inside Pratt Auditorium. Brooke is Conant’s all-time leading scorer, while Madison was named the Gatorade New Hampshire Player of the Year in 2015. Brooke played basketball at Southern New Hampshire University, Madison currently plays at Holy Cross, and Devin is a baseball player at Keene State. Springfield’s youngest child, Peyton, got significant playing time as a freshman last winter.

While his four kids have undoubtedly had great experiences at Conant thus far, Springfield is focused on creating that kind of experience for all student athletes donning the Orioles uniform.

“My main goal is all about the student athletes,” Springfield said. “Just making sure that these student athletes have the best possible experience they can have, and trying to give them the best help, the best coaches, the most resources we can give them, and give them the opportunities that a lot of small town kids can’t get.”

Springfield said that one of his main goals in his new position is to give the athletes hope, and help them understand that they have more possibilities than they may realize.

“I look at myself as kind of a guidance counselor to these student athletes, as well, to help guide them and hopefully get them to where they want to get to,” Springfield said. “I know what it takes for them, even if they’re not the top athlete, that there’s a way for you to be successful.”

“I’m kind of honored that they trusted me and picked me to lead the athletic department for years to come. My goal is to be here until retirement.”