AUBURN — City officials announced late last week that Marc Gosselin, the former general manager of the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn, is returning to direct a newly expanded Recreation and Sports Facilities Department.

In a news release Friday, City Manager Peter Crichton said Gosselin, who managed the arena and the city’s sports tourism efforts from 2015-2017, will serve as director of the new department, calling it an “expanded leadership role.”

Gosselin will start Nov. 26. He left his previous role in Auburn in early 2017, taking a job in corporate partnerships with the Columbus Blue Jackets, a National Hockey League franchise in Ohio. 

Gosselin, who grew up in Lewiston, began his sports business career working for the Lewiston Maineiacs. In the years that followed, he worked for the Portland Pirates, Central Maine Community College, and before coming to Auburn, spent five seasons with the Maine Red Claws, Portland’s professional minor league basketball team.

Now he’s returning to Auburn to oversee Auburn’s entire Recreation Department and various recreation facilities, including Norway Savings Bank Arena and Ingersoll Turf Facility.

“I am excited to be back in Maine not only for personal reasons, but also to be working for –  and with – the great people who support sports and recreation in the city of Auburn,” Gosselin said Friday. “I am thrilled to accept this opportunity to play a role in this new team approach to recreation.”

According to Crichton, Auburn’s new Recreation & Sports Facilities Department “will encompass all things recreation within the city,” from the Hasty Community Center to parks, to the turf facility and the arena.

Crichton said Sabrina Best will assume the role of deputy director of the new department, “continuing her exemplary service to the city of Auburn.”

Best has served as recreation director since January 2016.

“This new department will be an ‘enhanced’ version of our current Recreation Department,” she said. “This realignment brings all of our exceptional recreational facilities under one umbrella and makes us one team.”

Other members of the new department will include Jeremy Gatcomb, the current general manager of the Ingersoll Turf Facility, who will serve as superintendent of recreation; and Rory Mushlin, of Bloomington, Illinois, who will come on board as operations manager at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

Mushlin will replace Jason Pacquin, who took over managing the arena for Gosselin in 2017. Mushlin will also begin Nov. 26.

When asked about the department restructuring, and its impact on the city budget, Crichton said one position “that was no longer necessary” was eliminated. 

“This leaves a delta of about $30,000 that will be made up by increased operational effectiveness, efficiency and revenues,” he said. 

Gosselin’s salary will be $96,000. 

Norway Savings Bank Arena opened in 2013 and is the only one in the state to feature dual rinks. In between is a 5,000-square-foot mezzanine. During his previous tenure, Gosselin was credited with growing revenue streams by attracting non-ice events, while increasing use of the ice rinks.

“The overall goal is to not only continue to provide quality services, programming and facilities to this great community, but also to explore ways to enhance our programs, create long lasting community partnerships and showcase what we have to our residents and those who visit the city of Auburn,” Gosselin said. 

Marc Gosselin in 2017, shortly before he accepted a job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, a National Hockey League team in Ohio. Auburn officials announced last week Gosselin is returning to Auburn to direct the city’s new Recreation and Sports Facilities Department. (Sun Journal file photo)