Dennis Walton

At the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) annual conference last week, Biddeford School Department’s Director of Athletics Dennis Walton was honored as Maine's 2024 Athletic Administrator of the Year. Walton has been the Director of Athletics, overseeing Biddeford High School and Biddeford Middle School athletics and coaches for nearly 20 years. MIAAA recognizes accomplished athletic administrators who demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting educational values in interscholastic activities, fostering positive working relationships with educational leaders, and ensuring quality athletic experiences for all students.

Walton is no stranger to athletics. In fact, he was a Biddeford Tiger Track and Field record setter during his high school years. Following graduation from Biddeford High School, he went on to college and ultimately earned his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine.  Dennis began teaching Social Studies for 11 years before becoming an administrator in 2006 and following in the footsteps of his longtime mentor and friend, former BHS Athletic Director Don Wilson.  In 2015, he earned his Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) designation from the National Athletic Administrators. 

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen as Maine’s Athletic Administrator of the Year,” said Dennis Walton.  “I am fortunate to have the best job in the School Department!  When I look back at my time as athletic director, I think of the supportive district leadership, the amazing individuals who coach our athletes, and the students who have the grit and perseverance that make Biddeford so special. I remain grateful that I had Don Wilson as a mentor, and I hope one day my legacy will encompass what I am most proud of–instituting the Biddeford High School’s Athletic Hall of Honor to recognize our stellar athletes.”

Walton has served at the local, state, and national levels. Locally, he has played an integral role in two major renovations. In 2012, he assisted in the renovation of Biddeford High School’s two gymnasiums, and in 2018, he was pivotal in transforming the historical Waterhouse Field into a coveted athletic stadium with turf and upgraded facilities. Walton has served as the president of the Southwestern Maine Activities Association (SMAA) and has been the liaison to several athletic offerings. He is currently a board member of the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) and serves the association as a Certified Leadership Training Course (LTC) instructor. 

“The MIAAA Robert Lahey Award is the pinnacle recognition given by our peers to the State’s top athletic director,” said Rich Buzzell, former president of the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, at the annual conference. “I’ve had the distinct pleasure of knowing Dennis since the early 90’s. For 19 years, he has served as a presider, presenter, and instructor for the MIAAA on numerous occasions.  He is a tireless and selfless worker, a great person to all his colleagues, and he is constantly leading without pushing. It gives me great pleasure to present this year’s Athletic Administrator of the Year to a tremendous colleague in our profession, and ever greater friend, Dennis Walton.” 

In addition to being named Maine’s Athletic Administrator of the Year, Walton was recently named the 2024 Professional of the Year by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4). To date, Walton is the only high school Athletic Director in the United States to receive this honor, which supports the sports and entertainment industries through innovative research, training, and outreach programs. NCS4 will formally recognize Walton at its annual conference in July.

Walton’s previous awards include being a dual recipient of the MIAAA Special Achievement Award for his service to the SMAA conference, the MIAAA Gerry Durgin, CMAA Leadership Award, and the Keith Lancaster, CMAA Professional Development Award. He has been published twice in the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association Magazine (NIAAA) with his articles on Creating Iron Tigers – Battling the Decline of the 3-Sport Athlete (2011) and Advocating for Education Based Athletics (2017). 

For more information about the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA), please visit  For more information about the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), please visit