IT HAPPENED with very little fanfare, but Windham High School hired Mike McCaffrey to replace Bill Raycraft as the school’s director of athletics.
McCaffrey was most recently the director of athletics at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School in Groton, Mass., but he has plenty of ties to athletics in New Hampshire. He played lacrosse at the University of New Hampshire, and began his coaching career with the Oyster River of Durham hockey program while he was still in college.
He helped start the boys’ lacrosse program at Bishop Guertin in the late 1980s, and served as the first boys’ lacrosse coach at Nashua North. McCaffrey also spent time as an assistant hockey coach at North.
In addition, McCaffrey has extensive experience in college athletics. He was the lacrosse coach at Holy Cross for five years, worked as the men’s soccer coach and lacrosse coach at American International College, the lacrosse coach at Wheaton and was hired as Rivier College’s first coach when the school started its men’s lacrosse program in 2009.
Raycraft, who was hired as Windham’s director of athletics and varsity football coach when the school opened in 2009, resigned in March and was hired as the AD at Malden (Mass.) Catholic in May.
Raycraft’s first week on the job at Malden Catholic was a busy one. He was greeted with news that Bryan Pinabell, MC’s varsity football coach for the last five years, had resigned to take over the football program at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Mass.
Raycraft had a 68-11 record as the varsity football coach at Windham, but said he won’t be the one who replaces Pinabell. Raycraft will coach the New Hampshire team in this summer’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.
“I think I have too much on my plate right now,” he said. “I have a couple people in mind, so we’ll explore that and see where it takes us.”
Staying with the Windham theme: Windham football coach Jack Byrne will take his team to New York for a five-team scrimmage at Niskayuna High School one week before its Division I opener against Bedford. The Jaguars will go up against four high school teams from the Empire State: Niskayuna, Queensbury, Guilderland and Averill Park.
“I think it’s going to be a college-style overtime tournament where each team gets the ball on the 25,” Byrne said. “We want to make it like a game situation as much as we can. We thought this would be a better thing to do than go to an overnight camp.”
Wenyen Gabriel, who spent two seasons at Trinity High School before moving on to Wilbraham and Monson Academy and the University of Kentucky, scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Sacramento Kings against China in an NBA Summer League game on Saturday. He had 16 points and five rebounds against the Lakers last Wednesday, and game-high totals of 22 points and 12 rebounds against the Warriors last Monday.
Gabriel, who went undrafted coming out of Kentucky, had a two-way contract with the Kings in 2018-19, but spent most of the season with Stockton, Sacramento’s G-League affiliate. He averaged 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game with Stockton.
Gabriel is among those competing for what appears to be four open spots on Sacramento’s roster.
Two NHIAA schools recently hired new varsity football coaches.
Former St. Thomas Aquinas football coach Ryan Brown confirmed Wednesday that he resigned and will be replaced by Dave Bryant, who served as the program’s defensive coordinator two years ago. Bryant was the head coach at Traip Academy in Kittery, Maine, last season.
Brown, who will remain as the school’s AD — a position he’s held since 2012 — cited “personal reasons” when asked about his decision to step down.
The Saints went 19-4 and qualified for the Division II playoffs in each of Brown’s two seasons as head coach. St. Thomas lost to Plymouth in the 2017 semifinals, and to Alvirne in last year’s semifinals.
In Keene, former Monadnock head coach Linwood Patnode has been hired to replace Bill Hope.
Patnode was an assistant coach at Keene from 2006-08, and guided the Monadnock program from 2009 to 2016. He led the Huskies to the Division V title in 2013.
Keene went 1-18 in Hope’s two seasons as head coach. The victory came against Manchester Memorial in the opener for each team last season.
The 116th New Hampshire Golf Association Amateur Championship will begin today at Portsmouth Country Club without any of the last seven champions in the field. Hooksett’s Matt Paradis, last year’s champion is not entered, and Mike Martel (2013 and 2017), Chris Houston (2016), Connor Greenleaf (2015) and Joe Leavitt (2012 and 2014) have all turned professional.