The 47th annual National Athletic Directors Conference will take place in Nashville, TN at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on December 9-13
The country’s largest meeting of high school athletic directors is co-sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) of Indianapolis.
As in past years, select NIAAA committees will meet on Friday, December 9 before the full conference schedule begins on Saturday, December 10. Registration begins at 9 a.m. December 10, followed by the Opening General Session at 5:30 p.m.
Clark Kellogg, lead college basketball studio analyst for CBS Sports, will be the keynote speaker at the opening session. Prior to earning All-Big Ten Conference honors at Ohio State University, Kellogg was a member of the Cleveland (Ohio) St. Joseph High School basketball program. The former McDonald’s All-American still holds the state finals scoring record with his 51-point performance in a 1979 state championship game loss. Kellogg is slated to discuss “The Power of Influence” during his keynote presentation.
The keynote speaker for the Closing General Session at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13 is Olympian Kenny Davis. Davis was the captain of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the Munich Games and an NAIA All-American at Georgetown (Kentucky) College. Davis’ 1972 team took a go-ahead lead with three seconds left during the Olympic basketball finals but lost, 51-50. The Soviet Union received multiple opportunities to score the winning basket in the game’s closing seconds, and did so on the team’s third attempt.
Some of the topics to be discussed during the 40 workshops at this year’s conference include technology enhancements, mental health issues, multiple-sport participation, social media engagement, transgender athletes, marketing an athletic program and mentoring non-teaching coaches.
44 classes of NIAAA Leadership Training Institute (LTI) courses will provide professional development to attendees. The first session of LTI classes begins at 1 p.m. December 10, and the final session will be at 3:30 p.m. December 12.
Eight of the 26 athletic directors receiving awards during the five-day conference will be presented NFHS Citations for their contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. The eight Citation winners will receive their awards Monday, December 12, during the Conference Luncheon.
NFHS Citation recipients include Ron Dolphin, CAA, athletic director, Grand County High School, Moab, UT; Ed Gilliland, CAA, athletic director, LaPorte (Indiana) High School; Karl Heimbach, CMAA, athletic director, Col. Zadok Magruder High School, Rockville, MD; David Lutes, CAA, athletic director, Kent (Washington) School District; Todd Olson, CMAA, director of student activities, Fargo (North Dakota) Public Schools; Mike Snyder, CAA, athletic director, Seminole (Oklahoma) High School; Gary Stevens, CMAA, director of student activities, Thornton Academy, Saco, ME; and Carter Wilson, CMAA, athletic director, City Schools of Decatur (Georgia).
The NIAAA will present its Distinguished Service Awards to 10 athletic directors during the Conference Banquet on December 13. Athletic administrators receiving awards include John DiColo, CMAA, athletic director, Jefferson Township High School, Oak Ridge, NJ; Bill Fitzgerald, CMAA, activities director, Fremont (Nebraska) High School; Mike Garvey, CMAA, director of athletics, Hackett Catholic Prep, Kalamazoo, MI; Tim Graham, CMAA, athletic director/assistant principal, Tumwater (Washington) High School; Mike Lunney, CAA, assistant executive director, Rhode Island Interscholastic League, Providence, RI; Hugh McReynolds, CAA, retired athletic director, Logan County High School, Russellville, KY; Todd Sampson, CMAA, assistant principal, Edward Little High School, Auburn, ME; Pete Shambo, CMAA, athletic administrator, Penfield Central School District, Rochester, NY; Greg Smith, CMAA, executive director, Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, Monroe, WI; and Lonnie Tillman, CAA, associate director, Mississippi High School Activities Association, Clinton, MS.
Athletic directors who will receive NIAAA awards during Tuesday’s banquet are Cass Herbst, CMAA, athletic administrator, Nampa (Idaho) East Valley Middle School, Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award; Susan Robbins, CMAA, athletic administrator, Yarmouth (Maine) High School, Thomas E. Frederick Award of Excellence; and Jean Ashen, CMAA, boys and girls athletic director, North Salinas (California) High School, Award of Merit.
The banquet and conference culminates with the induction of five athletic directors into the NIAAA Hall of Fame. Those being recognized this year include Carol Chory, CMAA, retired student activities coordinator, Kempsville High School, Virginia Beach, VA; Harold Erwin, CAA, retired athletic director, Buffalo (West Virginia) High School; the late Rodger Estes, former athletic director, Mehlville High School, St. Louis, MI; Dennis Fries, CMAA, retired district director of physical education and athletics, West Irondequoit (New York) Central School District; and Leslie Moore, retired district athletic director, Denver (Colorado) Public Schools.