AUBURN — Dave Gonyea is a man happy at work, a good thing since he hardly leaves.

Gonyea lives in a tan ranch near the dorms at Central Maine Community College. He’s the school athletic director, housing director, security director and basketball coach.

“There’s days at a time I don’t drive out the driveway,” he said.

Students call him Coach or Dave and regularly pop into his office next to the gym in Kirk Hall. He motors around campus, and from front door to office, in an aging golf cart.

Gonyea, from Windham, started at CMCC 19 years ago as head of housing and athletics. Security duty was added in 2002.

Some 3,000 students attend CMCC, the fifth largest college in Maine, and the second safest behind College of the Atlantic, he said proudly. Two hundred and fifty stay in three dorms on campus.

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Gonyea, 55, lives with walkie talkies and a cellphone at the ready. He can be called upon night and day: Someone needs tutoring. Someone has roommate trouble. Someone is worried about an ex on campus.

Second-year students, he said, can be the most rewarding to work with. People he’s seen struggle, suddenly discover, “‘Oh my God, I can do this.’ It’s exhilarating.”

He knew when he was young that he wanted to be a coach. Basketball practice is every night, in season. Former Mustangs are flying in soon from New York, South Carolina and West Virginia for an alumni game.

“It just says a lot for the college and a lot for the program (that they’d make the long trip),” Gonyea said.

And something about him?

He smiled. “Sure.”

Gonyea, who’s single — “I married my job a long time ago” — said he can see himself at CMCC at least another 10 years.

“I think the school is going to evolve and change a lot in the next five years and I want to be part of that,” he said. “I want to be an impact player. I’m not a sideline guy.”

Know someone everyone knows? We’re always looking for ideas. Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]


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