Q&A: Steve Mello reflects on time as Concord High School athletic director ahead of retirement

Concord athletic director Steve Mello will retire after 16 years on the job at the end of the current school year. October 5, 2023.

Concord athletic director Steve Mello will retire after 16 years on the job at the end of the current school year. October 5, 2023.

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 06-06-2024 3:43 PM

Concord High School athletic director Steve Mello is retiring at the end of the current school year. After a 16-year run, he spoke with the Monitor about his time in the role, what his favorite parts were and what he hopes Concord student-athletes take away from their experiences participating in high school athletics.

Mello’s responsibilities ranged from hiring coaches to coordinating bus schedules, finding alternate sites for games when fields were unplayable to being a guide for student-athletes as they represent their high school on the field.

The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity:

Concord Monitor: So what made you want to become an athletic director in the first place?

Steve Mello: I was always into coaching, and I coached a lot, and I just thought, ‘How can I affect more students?’ I just wanted to help as  many kids as I could because I believe in the lessons that athletics teach. Some people might find them corny but, working as a team, dealing with adversity, all those things, I really believe very strongly that it’s really beneficial throughout their life.

That’s it in a nutshell. I enjoyed coaching, I enjoyed coaching kids and one thing kind of led to another.

CM: What sports did you coach?

SM: I coached baseball, football, hockey.

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CM: What’s been your favorite part of your job?

SM: Just getting to know kids throughout the years, watching them grow. Also getting to know their families, and when I see them at Memorial Field, ‘How’s your daughter doing in college?’ Things like that. Just being part of a really great community.

CM: What do you think you’re going to miss most about this job once you retire?

SM: Same thing. Just the people, the camaraderie, the teamwork.

I’m part of a team. None of this has ever been about me; it’s about giving kids the chance to compete and display their talents. Being part of a great team, that’s the way I view Concord High athletics, especially. We’re all one big team. And the community as well. The community comes out, supports, they support in a lot of ways, and that’s what makes it go.

CM: Do you have any message that you want the student-athletes, current and former, that you've worked with to take away from being athletes at Concord High School?

SM: Just to be a good teammate. That goes for if you’re playing on a competitive team, if you’re playing adult softball, or it goes to being a family member. (If) the one thing you took away from your Concord experience is be a good teammate, I think that’s a real win.

A teammate can be a community member, family member, friend. It can mean a lot of things. Just be the best teammate you can be. Treat people well, treat them with respect, which I think we do a pretty decent job as a program of modeling those behaviors, and that goes to again, the students themselves, coaches, parents, community members.

CM: Anything else you want to mention?

SM: Just want to thank the whole community for giving me an opportunity to be part of such a great community.