NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

No offseason for Athletic Director Dan Blair

For Dan Blair, who serves as the Northern Essex Athletic director, there is no offseason, he has a hand in every sport and sporting activity at NECC (Northern Essex Community College). Blair is entering his fifth school year as of 2021-2022 as our school Athletic director. Daily tasks for Blair include scheduling practices and officials for games, overseeing all facilities and communicating with other Athletic directors from different regions.

Before arriving at Northern Essex in 2018, Blair was employed for ten years at Franklin Pierce University located in RindgeNH serving in various roles. He began as the university’s NCAA compliance coordinator in 2007. In February of 2009 he was promoted to Assistant Athletic director. In Early 2015 he rose to the position of Associate director of the athletics. During this time, he supervised all the Franklin Pierce’s sports activities over his final two and a half years at the university. Then Blair departed from Franklin Pierce University to join Northern Essex in the fall of 2017.

 Blair successfully led the sports program throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Northern Essex was among one of just two schools in the region able to play.  “Being the only community college in Massachusetts and one of only three in New England to play last year, we became a model for how to run the athletic program through COVID for other schools in the region to follow” Blair said.

During Blair’s tenure the sports department has thrived. The baseball team is considered among the best in the country. In Blair’s inaugural year at Northern Essex the baseball team claimed an XXI region championship and later achieving a District F win which advanced them to the college world series in Nashville, TN. The volleyball team has also claimed a pair of region XXI championships. In the 2019-2020 season Men’s Soccer and Women’s basketball teams made a return to Northern Essex and for the first time esports appeared at NECC.

The number of students participating in the athletic program have risen exponentially. “we’ve grown from 43 student athletes to about 150 and we have over 200 enrolled students interested in the program each year.” Despite a top-notch sports program, the aspect he is most proud of is “seeing the students succeed both in the classroom and athletics.”

Blair graduated from Bridgewater state university in 2006 earning a degree in Psychology and special education. Then he went on to Franklin Pierce University where he received his master’s degree in sports facility management. Over Blair’s time at Bridgewater state, he took part in the school’s track & field and cross-country teams for four years while he was a student. He also spent a single year coaching the track and field team at Bridgewater.

Blair lives in Newburyport, MA with his wife Amy, as well as his two daughters, Kennedy, and Mackenzie. Outside of NECC he enjoys golfing, traveling with his family and doing yard work