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Reitnauer back in charge of ConVal athletics

  • John Reitnauer Courtesy photo—

  • Paul Landau is leaving ConVal to become athletic director at Belmont High School. Staff photo by Ben Conant



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, July 02, 2018 7:42AM

John Reitnauer is back in charge of ConVal athletics.Reitnauer, a longtime ConVal coach and teacher, takes over the athletic director position vacated by Mark Swasey, who left at the end of the school year.

“Athletics is my passion,” Reitnauer said Wednesday. “I’m really excited about getting back into that position again and start working with coaches and student-athletes. I really, really enjoy that aspect of the job.”

Reitnauer, who just finished his 31st year at ConVal, said he was planning on retiring after next year, but was drawn back in by the AD opportunity, a position he previously held from 1998-2002. At that point, it was a part-time position, and as the school grew — and with it, the number of sports offered —he found it to be too much on top of a teaching position.

Now, it’s full-time, and one of his biggest tasks is dealing with a declining student population.

“I don’t know what impact that could have in the future,” Reitnauer said. “I’m not looking to cut anything, I want to make sure that our student-athletes have opportunity to participate but looking longterm at our population, are we going to be able to sustain as many programs as we have? I hope we can, and I’ll do everything I can to keep programs alive and well, but I think that’s something that longterm we’re going to need to look at.”

Reitnauer has coached a little bit of everything at ConVal over the years, from softball to tennis to lacrosse and beyond. Perhaps most notably, he coached the 1994 girls’ basketball team to a state championship; he was also instrumental in bringing football to the school in the early 1990s.

Reitnauer’s first order of business, beyond tying up the loose ends in the CTE department of which he was head, is finding a new head football coach to replace Paul Landau, who is leaving to take over as athletic director at Belmont High School.

“This was easily the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life,” said Landau. “Growing up it was my dream to be a head football coach in a small town like Peterborough, and be in that high school as a teacher, so I can’t thank this community enough for that opportunity, and I don’t think I will ever forget how amazing and generous are communities were and our fans were.”

Landau had been commuting nearly an hour and half to ConVal for the past few years as he taught and coached, and with his wife and baby at home, he said he made the move to be able to spend more time with his family.