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NECC Hires Director of Athletics

Submitted by on September 8, 2017 – 6:09 pm

Dan Blair, director of athletics at Northern Essex Community College

Newburyport native Daniel M. Blair, who was associate director of athletics at Franklin Pierce University (Rindge, NH), has been named director of athletics at Northern Essex Community College (Haverhill and Lawrence, MA), starting September 11.

At Northern Essex, Blair will oversee the college’s six varsity sports—baseball, basketball (men’s), volleyball, softball, cross country (men’s and women’s), and track and field—and a wide range of intramural and club sports and activities.  He will report to Michael McCarthy, the college’s vice president of administration and finance, and serve as a member of the vice president’s leadership team.

In his most recent position, he oversaw all day to day operations of the Franklin Pierce Athletic Department with responsibility for administration of 13 varsity programs, budget management, athletic compliance, and event marketing.

Blair joined Franklin Pierce as compliance coordinator in 2007, was promoted to assistant athletic director for compliance & special events in 2009, to assistant athletic director/internal operations & compliance in 2013, and to associate director of athletics in 2015.

A graduate of Bridgewater State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Franklin Pierce University with a Master’s of Science in Sport Facility Management, he participated in cross country and track & field while a student at Bridgewater State, and he has also coached men’s and women’s track and field at Bridgewater.

While at Newburyport High School, Blair ran cross country for Coach Don Hennigar and track for Coach Tim Foley, graduating in 2002.

Blair says he’s looking forward to returning to the Merrimack Valley.  “It’s good to come home, and I’m excited about the vision for athletics at Northern Essex,” he said.  “I think there’s a lot of untapped potential and opportunities for success and growth.”

Northern Essex recently restructured its athletics program with several goals in mind.  The college has one of the most successful athletics programs at a Massachusetts’ community college, and the restructuring is designed to build on that success, involving more students in athletics, expanding offerings in Lawrence, and attracting new resources to address facility needs.

The college’s baseball team, for example, has made six recent trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series and two student-athletes have been drafted by professional teams, most recently Ryan McAuliffe who signed with the Mets this past summer.

For more information on athletics at Northern Essex, contact Blair at or 978 556-3820 or visit the website

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.  Nearly 6,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 3,000 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus and at the Opportunity Works building at 671 Kenoza St., located next to the Haverhill campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. For more information, visit the website at