Kyle Magoffin takes over for Jim Woodward as Mahar athletic director

  • Kyle Magoffin coaching the Mahar Esports team. Magoffin takes over for Jim Woodward as the Senator athletic director this fall. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

Staff Writer
Published: 8/10/2022 6:58:51 PM
Modified: 8/10/2022 6:55:36 PM

Kyle Magoffin has big shoes to fill at Mahar Regional High School. 

Jim Woodward — who serves as the Senators athletic director since 1974 — retired following the spring season. Magoffin, a Cheshire, Conn., native who has been working at Mahar since he graduated from Springfield College 15 years ago, got the job and is now running the athletic department with the Senators. 

He’s eager to get things going once the fall season kicks off later this month. 

“When the field is named after him, you know he’s made a big impact here,” Magoffin said of Woodward. “I’m excited. I’ve been sitting in the wings for a while hoping to get my shot to be the athletic director. I certainly have big shoes to fill. I want to carry on the traditions that have been here at Mahar and all the things he’s done through his time here. At the same time, I want to create my own traditions and put a spin on things as well, but keep what’s been working.” 

Like all athletic directors around the county, one of the things Magoffin is tasked with is bringing numbers back up across athletics. COVID has affected just about every athletic department in the area, with many sports struggling to get enough players to field a team.

Magoffin is trying to bring excitement back to the athletic department in hopes of getting more students to come out for the teams. Thus far, Mahar hasn’t had to cut any sports, actually adding back cross country after not offering it a season ago. 

"During COVID all these kids got jobs,” Magoffin said. “Now we want them to come play sports for the fun of it. With low numbers, it makes it tough to win and be competitive. It's trying to make it fun for the kids and get them excited to be playing sports again and represent their school. We just want to give them as many opportunities to do that as we can.”

One of the ways Magoffin is trying to raise awareness around athletics is through social media. By posting highlights, he hopes it draws more students to play sports, as well as keeping them around. 

He’s leaned on his brother, Brian Magoffin, who is the assistant athletic director for communications at Springfield College, for advice on how to build things up online. 

“I want to bring up our social media presence,” Magoffin said. “We want to get kids excited for sports. COVID took the fun out of things for a lot of kids while they were stuck at home. We want to broadcast their accomplishments for everyone to see. It’s a different world than the one I grew up in and this is what the kids look for after their games.” 

Another way to get numbers back up is through the youth programs, a place he is looking to do what he can to support. 

“Every AD is trying to help out with the youth programs,” Magoffin said. “If we can’t get the youth kids going, we’re not going to have much success at the high school and middle school level.” 

While Magoffin has plenty of coaching experience, he won’t be running one individual team with the Senators this year. 

He has previously coached on Woodward’s staff with the football team as well as coaching track at Mahar. Magoffin also started the Esports program at the school, the first school in Western Mass. to do so. 

“I gave up coaching to concentrate on this job,” Magoffin said. “I love coaching. It’s why I thought AD would be a good transition for myself. I may not be heading an individual team but I’m at the top of the ship. Maybe I can influence some of the other coaches. We have some stellar coaches here already. I’m going to ride their coattails and try to bring the best out of them.” 

All-in-all, Magoffin is inheriting a good thing at Mahar. He’s hoping to keep that going, build up from what they lost during COVID and give the athletes at Mahar everything they need to excel. 

“I want to maintain what we have,” Magoffin said. “We’ll bring back as much as we can within the budget. I’ll be learning on the job. There’s a lot of challenges. I want to make sure I can implement the ideas I have and make them effective. Whatever I do will be to make the experience the best it can be for the student-athletes. I’m excited to get going and excited for the fall season.” 


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