After a national search that drew nearly 150 applications, Interim Head of School Karlyn McNall was pleased to announce in March that Craig Najarian will join the community as Middlesex’s Director of Athletics beginning this July.
Since 2015, Craig has served as the director of athletics at Catholic Memorial School, guiding one of the most successful athletic programs in Massachusetts. Until this last spring there, he also made time to coach the freshman baseball team for seven years. During his early career, Craig coached baseball at Brandeis University, Wheaton College, and Boston College before serving for three years as the head baseball coach at College of the Holy Cross (when he first became familiar with Middlesex through the recruiting process). He took on his first role as an athletic director in 2007 at Foxboro High School and moved to Holliston High in the same role in 2012. Craig earned his undergraduate degree at Saint Anselm College, where he played four years of baseball; he also holds a master’s degree in athletic administration from Endicott College.
“While Craig’s credentials as an athletic administrator are impressive, we were equally compelled by his powerful articulation of the importance of athletics in the development of young people,” Karlyn affirms. “Craig understands and is deeply invested in a competitive program. He recognizes the opportunity for students to benefit from all levels of athletic participation, viewing athletics as an extension of the classroom and a place where student-athletes can learn lessons in leadership, overcoming adversity, positive communication, and the value of hard work. These lessons are built on the essential foundation formed through being part of a team.”
Bringing an extensive network of coaches and connections with him to Middlesex, Craig has significant experience with recruiting, evaluating, and improving coaches at all levels. His familiarity with facilities’ projects, management, and scheduling will likewise be an advantage in his role at the School. With this exceptional background, Craig will be ready to build on the accomplishments of current Athletic Director Ken Risley, who will resume teaching history full time while continuing to serve as head coach of boys’ varsity soccer.
“Craig cares deeply about the entirety of each student’s experience and is excited to join a community that embraces the whole student and encourages each individual to stretch and grow in all areas,” adds Karlyn. “We are excited for this new chapter of Middlesex athletics under his leadership and are looking forward to welcoming Craig, his wife Katie, and their daughters to the Middlesex community this summer.”