Scott Snell named athletic coordinator at Shelton High

Scott Snell has switched gears. A coach the past 11 seasons, he is now Shelton's athletic coordinator.

Scott Snell has switched gears. A coach the past 11 seasons, he is now Shelton’s athletic coordinator.

Bill Bloxsom / Hearst Connecticut Media

Scott Snell as a coach and teacher has had his finger on the pulse of student athletes at Shelton High for the past 11 years. Blending those abilities made him the district’s choice to replace John Niski as athletic coordinator.

Snell interviewed Aug. 4. He was hired Aug. 6. The job began Aug. 6.

“I don’t know yet what will a typical day. Right now, the day in the life is eligibility lists,” Snell said. “I will be teaching three social study classes. Then I will switch hats and go from the classroom to the athletic coordinator’s office. From there is where I will take care of what is needed.”

Niski said: “As a teacher and a coach, Scott will be able to transfer those skills into this leadership position. Scott has a great understanding of the value of education-based athletics. He will also bring enthusiasm and the no-nonsense approach needed.”

Snell will host a virtual fall sports meeting for parents and athletes on Aug. 24. For the most part, it will be business as usual when Snell gets together with fall coaches on Aug. 26.

“There are two new state pieces of legislation that came out,” he said. “We are now required to have an emergency preparedness plan for every facility that we use regarding sports. The other is heat education, everyone is going to be reeducated on what is in place and what to do.”

Being placed in charge of sports programs offered to approximately 1,400 students won’t be the first time Snell has accepted a new career path. A volunteer football coach for four seasons at Derby High, he became more and more involved with the day-to-day lives of his players.

“I found myself being drawn in,” said Snell, a 1999 Seymour High graduate. “Coaching them wasn’t enough. We talked and my wife Lorena said if I was going to go for it the time was now.”

Snell worked full time while getting his bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University in 2010. Shelton hired him to teach. He got back into coaching outdoor track, indoor track, and girls’ volleyball over the next decade.

“I’m going to miss coaching. I was sad when I had to resign to take the coordinator position,” said Snell, who earned a master’s degree from Sacred Heart University in 2015 and an 092 administrative certification from the University of Bridgeport in 2019. “I will miss the times when an athlete has that breakthrough moment, knowing I had helped and got to see it happen in front of my eyes.”

Snell feels that what he will gain being the AC outweighs the loss.

“I’m excited by the challenges that are in front of me,” he said. “I feel I can help more students, more athletes, in the coordinator position that I could have as a coach. To me that is exciting.”

One of his first duties was finding a home for the girls’ volleyball team.

“Demolition of the gym floor will begin on Monday. The contractors are hopeful that the new gym will be ready in advance of the basketball season,” he said. “This fall the freshmen, jayvee, and varsity girls’ basketball players will move to Shelton Intermediate School. All the schedules have been reworked to avoid conflicts with the middle school.

Snell is grateful with the help he’s received during the transition.

“I’ve been blessed to have such an experienced staff of coaches,” he said. “New coaches that will enter our program will have that same core of veterans to rely on. I would like to thank Brenda Hansen, our athletic department secretary. Simply put, the job cannot be done without her. She has extensive knowledge on all the programs and different organizations needed for things to run smoothly. This job cannot be done without her.”

Niski has lent the strongest hand according to Snell.

“John has been such a valuable resource for me through this transition. John is master at this, a decorated AD. He has been willing to help me with anything in all areas and I’m incredibly grateful,” said Snell, who will balance his AC duties by raising with Lorena daughter Gianda (10) and son Nico (7).

“Taking over for John is an enormous responsibility. People will tell you that John seemed to be everywhere at the same time. I’m going to do my best to be as present as possible. I’m thinking there will be a lot of sleepless nights.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354