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AHSAA Assistant Director Wanda Gilliland Receives NFHS Citation at 96th Summer Meeting at New Orleans

     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 1, 2015) — Wanda Gilliland, assistant director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, is among 12 leaders in high school activity programs across the country selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations.

      She received the award at a special luncheon held at the 2015 the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans Wednesday.  An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.

      “I know of no one who is more deserving than Wanda Gilliland,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “She is dedicated, loyal and a tireless servant who loves the AHSAA and its mission. We are very proud of her and are elated she is being recognized by the NFHS for her many contributions.”
      Ms. Gilliland has been an assistant director with the AHSAA since 1996. A graduate of Marion County High School and Athens State College, she served as a teacher and coach/athletic director at Hamilton High School from 1979-1996 where her girls’ basketball teams compiled a 301-96 record, won a state championship in 1990, finished runner-up the next year and won the Marion County tournament seven times.
       She has played a key role in the development of state championship programs in volleyball, softball, basketball and cross country. She has helped govern eligibility requirements through involvement with school audits, investigations and foreign exchange student regulations.
      Gilliland has received several coach-of-the-year honors and has served on the NFHS basketball, softball and spirit rules committees. She currently chairs the NFHS Softball Rules Committee. She was inducted into AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Marion County Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
       Gilliland, the Section 3 recipient, becomes the sixth Alabama recipient of the prestigious NFHS Citation Award since its inception in 1987. Past recipients include Ken Blankenship (Coaches Citation) in 2000, Greg Brewer (Section 3) in 2006, Houston Young (Officials Citation), 2010, Alan Mitchell (Section 3) in 2012, and Jeff Hilyer (Officials Citation) in 2014.
      E
ight Citation honorees, one from each of the NFHS member-school districts, are recognized annually as well as four other Citation recipients representing NFHS professional organizations for officials, coaches, music leaders and speech/debate/theatre directors.
        The other state association recipients for 2015 were Pat Corbin, Section 1, retired executive director of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association; Butch Powell, Section 2, assistant executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission; Scott Johnson, Section 4, assistant executive director of the Illinois High School Association; Cheryl Gleason, Section 5, assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association; Amy Cassell, Section 6, assistant director of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association; Dwight Toyama, Section 7, former executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association and the Oahu Interscholastic Association; and John Billetz, Section 8, retired executive director of the Idaho High School Activities Association.
        Other Citation recipients at Wednesday’s awards luncheon were James Coon, Officials  Citation recipient, volleyball official, Pittsboro, Indiana; Milt Bassett, Coach Citation recipient, executive director, Oklahoma Coaches Association, Edmond, Oklahoma; Jean Ney, Music Citation recipient, retired coordinator of fine arts, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, Bonner Springs, Kansas; and Darrel Harbaugh, Speech/Debate/Theatre Citation recipient, retired director of debate and forensics, Field Kindley Memorial High School, Coffeyville, Kansas.
        Missouri State High School Activities Association legal counsel Mallory Mayse was also presented the NFHS Award of Merit for his contributions over the last 40 years to the NFHS and MSHSAA concerning legal issues.   The award, while not presented annually, has recognized 42 individuals since 1966 including former President Gerald Ford (1983) and former AHSAA Executive Director Herman L. “Bubba” Scott (1992).
         The NFHS American Tradition Award was also presented to Varsity Spirit, a company dedicated to spirit and cheer participation.  Varsity Spirit became just the eighth recipient of the award since 1985.


NFHS, Simon’s Fund release “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” on www.nfhslearn.com

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 24, 2015) – The National Federation of State High School Associations has added a new course to its selection of online education courses available through the NFHS Learning Center at www.nfhslearn.com.

            “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” was developed in conjunction with Simon’s Fund, which raises awareness about the conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in young athletes.

             “The NFHS is pleased to partner with Simon's Fund to provide this free online course,” said Dan Schuster, director of coach education at NFHS. “This is critically important information that can save a life and ultimately create a safer environment for students.” 

The course educates coaches, students, parents and others about sudden cardiac arrest, how to recognize its warning signs and symptoms, and the appropriate course of action to be taken if a player collapses during physical activity.

            Sudden cardiac arrest is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States for student-athletes during exercise, taking the lives of thousands every year.

“It is critically important for coaches – and others – to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest, and to know how to respond effectively in order to protect student-athletes,” said Dr. Bill Heinz, chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and host of the new “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” course.

            “By partnering with the NFHS, hundreds of thousands of coaches will see our educational video and become educated about the warning signs and conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest.  We can’t think of a better way of fulfilling our mission,” said Darren Sudman, executive director and co-founder of Simon’s Fund.

            Along with this new course, the NFHS also encourages all schools to develop and implement an emergency action plan, have an AED on site and have an appropriate health-care professional present at as many events as possible in order to minimize risk to student-athletes.

            “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” takes just 15 minutes to complete and can be used toward fulfillment of Certified Interscholastic Coach requirements, part of the NFHS National Certification Program.

The course can be taken for free at https://nfhslearn.com/courses/61032.


Jackie Stiles, J. T. Curtis Among 12 Individuals Selected for 2015 Class of National High School Hall of Fame

     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 23, 2015) — Jackie Stiles, the high school basketball legend from Claflin, Kansas, who is the leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history, and J. T. Curtis, whose 542 victories as football coach at John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana rank No. 2 all-time, are among 12 individuals selected for the 2015 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.

Other athletes who were chosen for this year’s class are Cindy Brogdon, who helped Greater Atlanta Christian School to three state girls basketball titles in the early 1970s while setting 12 school records; Nikki McCray-Penson, Tennessee’s all-time leading scorer in five-player girls basketball during her days at Collierville High School; and Lincoln McIlravy, who won five South Dakota state wrestling titles at Philip High School and three NCAA championships at the University of Iowa.

Joining Curtis as coaches in this year’s class are David Barney, who has won 34 state championships in boys and girls swimming at Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico; Rick Lorenz, girls volleyball coach at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, who has won 10 state championships and 1,174 matches; Don Petranovich, who retired in 2010 after winning eight girls basketball state championships at Winslow High School in Arizona; and Charles “Corky” Rogers, football coach at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, who ranks fifth among active coaches with 444 victories.

These four athletes and five coaches, along with one contest official, one state association administrator and one in the performing arts, will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 33rd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

Other members of the 2015 induction class are the late Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr., who was a football official for 45 years and a basketball official for 55 years with the Ohio High School Athletic Association; Doug Chickering, who guided the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association to unprecedented levels of success during his 24 years (1986-2009) as executive director; and Mike Burton, one of the nation’s top speech and debate coaches during his 39 years (1969-2008) at two schools in the state of Washington.

            The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs. This year’s class increases the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 435.

            The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.

            Following is biographical information on the 12 individuals in the 2015 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

ATHLETES

                Cindy Brogdon was one of the top girls basketball players in Georgia history during her four years (1972-75) at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross. She led her teams to three state titles (finished second the other year) and set 12 school records, including most points in a game (44) and highest career scoring average (23.7). Brogdon played two years at Mercer University, averaging 30.1 points per game, and two years at the University of Tennessee, where she led the Lady Vols in scoring both seasons. Brogdon was a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team and was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. She is currently a teacher and coach at Northview High School in Johns Creek, Georgia.

            Nikki McCray-Penson scored 3,594 points during her four-year basketball career at Collierville (Tennessee) High School – most in state history for the five-player game. She led her team to the state tournament as a senior in 1990 and was the state’s top scorer with an average of 33.6 points per game. McCray also is the state’s all-time leading rebounder and was  named Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Class AAA Miss Basketball in 1990. McCray led the University of Tennessee to a 122-11 record during her four years and was Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as a junior and senior. She played on two Olympic gold medal teams (1996, 2000) and played nine years in the Women’s National Basketball Association. McCray was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. She is currently an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. 

            Lincoln McIlravy won five state wrestling titles (1988-92) at Philip High School in South Dakota – the first as an eighth-grader in the 98-pound class. He also won the 112-pound title as a ninth-grader, the 125-pound championship as a sophomore and the 152-pound titles as a junior and senior. His overall high school record was 200-25. At the University of Iowa, McIlravy posted an overall record of 96-3-12 and won three NCAA championships and three Big Ten Conference titles. From 1997 to 2000, McIlravy won four consecutive USA national freestyle titles. He also claimed three World Team trials and the 2000 USA Olympic trials. McIlravy was a bronze medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games. In 2010, McIlravy became a “distinguished member” of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

            Jackie Stiles is regarded by most people as the greatest female athlete in Kansas history after her incredible accomplishments at Claflin High School from 1993 to 1997. In basketball, she scored 3,603 points and averaged 35.7 points per game (seventh all-time nationally), which includes a staggering 46.4 scoring average (fourth all-time nationally) as a senior. She set the state’s all-time single-game mark with 71 points in 1997. In track and field, Stiles helped Claflin to two state titles and set an all-state record with 14 gold medals and two silver medals (16 possible medals). She won four gold medals as a freshman and, as a junior, became the first female athlete to win the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 – all in one day. She also competed on the cross country and tennis teams. Stiles’ accomplishments continued at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University), where she led her team to a berth in the Women’s Final Four in 2001. Stiles is the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history with 3,393 points and led the NCAA in scoring in 1999-2000 with a 27.8 per-game average. She is the school’s single-season scoring leader. Stiles was named WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2001 after averaging 14.9 points per game for the Portland Fire. She currently is assistant women’s basketball coach at Missouri State University.

COACHES

            David Barney has been involved in interscholastic coaching since 1961, including the past 40 years as girls swimming coach and the past 33 years as boys swimming coach at Albuquerque Academy (AA) in New Mexico. The amazing 83-year-old Barney has led his AA swimmers to 34 New Mexico Activities Association state titles (18 boys, 16 girls). His overall record (boys and girls) entering the 2014-15 season was 923-71. Barney’s teams previously set or still hold 70 state records with 238 individuals and relays winning gold medals. Barney has coached five National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) national champions and he has coached more than 300 NISCA All-American swimmers. In 1995, Barney was selected the first NFHS National High School Girls Swimming Coach of the Year. In 2010, he was the first swimming coach to be inducted into the NMAA’s Hall of Pride & Honor.

            J. T. Curtis has registered a phenomenal 542-58-6 record (89.9 winning percentage) during his 46 years as football coach at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, Louisiana. He is second all-time in coaching victories, trailing the legendary John McKissick, who has 621 wins through the 2014 season. Curtis has led his teams to 26 state championships in 35 appearances in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) state title game, and the school has reached the championship game for 19 consecutive years. In 2012, his team was the consensus national champion and he was named USA Today Coach of the Year for the second time. Curtis is also the school’s athletic director, overseeing a program that has won more than 50 state championships in eight different sports, and the school’s headmaster. An ordained minister, Curtis delivers weekly sermons to a local congregation.

            Rick Lorenz has coached girls volleyball in Oregon since 1976, including the past 27 years at Central Catholic High School in Portland. He previously coached 10 years at St. Mary’s Academy and one year at Lake Oswego High School. Lorenz has led his teams to 10 Oregon School Activities Association state championships and 10 second-place finishes. His teams have advanced to the finals site in 32 of his 39 years coaching the sport. Lorenz has posted a 1,174-185 record (86.3 winning percentage) and his career victory total ranks eighth all-time nationally according to the NFHS’ National High School Sports Record Book. Lorenz’s 2011 team registered a perfect 44-0 record in the state’s largest volleyball class and won a third consecutive state title. Last year, Lorenz was named National Volleyball Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA).

            Don Petranovich retired in 2010 after a legendary 33-year career as girls basketball coach at Winslow (Arizona) High School. Petranovich registered a state-record 780-158 record (83.1 winning percentage) and appeared in a state-record 16 state championship games, winning the title eight times. His 1989 and 1990 teams won a state-record 44 consecutive games. Petranovich was NFHS National Girls Basketball Coach of the Year in 2009 and was named the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Coach of the 20th Century. He played major roles in the early development of girls high school basketball in Arizona as well as the rise in interest in girls basketball on Native American reservations. Petranovich also served as the school’s athletic director for 28 years, retiring in 2013.

            Charles “Corky” Rogers ranks sixth all-time (fifth among active coaches) in career football coaching victories during his outstanding 43-year career at two Jacksonville, Florida, high schools. Rogers coached at his alma mater, Robert E. Lee High School, from 1972 to 1988, and has directed the football program at The Bolles School for the past 26 years. Rogers has compiled an overall 444-80-1 record (84.8 winning percentage) and was the eighth coach in high school football history to surpass 400 victories. Rogers’ teams have won 11 Florida High School Athletic Association state championships in 16 appearances – most in Florida history. He has been inducted in several halls of fame and was National High School Football Coach of the Year in 2004-05, as selected by the National High School Coaches Association.

OFFICIAL

            The late Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr. was an Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) football official for 45 years (1955-2000) and an OHSAA basketball official for 55 years (1945-2000). He officiated six state football championships and 10 state basketball tournaments (eight boys, two girls). He conducted countless clinics and camps and was instrumental in recruiting and mentoring numerous new football and basketball officials. Pangrazio was also a highly successful college basketball official in several conferences and was a Big Ten Conference basketball officials observer and evaluator at Ohio State University for 25 years. Pangrazio was a 1989 charter member of the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame, and last year he was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.

ADMINISTRATOR

            Doug Chickering guided the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) to unprecedented success during his 24 years (1986-2009) as executive director. Only the fourth person to hold the position in the 113-year history of the WIAA, Chickering was instrumental in adding private schools into the association in 2000, expanding state tournament opportunities in all sports, and enhancing the exposure of high school sports through various media platforms. At the national level, Chickering served two terms on the NFHS Board of Directors and was president in 1992-93. During his year as president, Chickering guided the organization through some challenging financial times, and he later was instrumental in establishing the NFHS Foundation. He was chair of the Foundation Board of Directors until his retirement in 2009. Chickering also chaired the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee. Prior to joining the WIAA in 1986, Chickering was a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal and district administrator in the Gilman and Marathon schools in Wisconsin.

PERFORMING ARTS

            Mike Burton retired in 2008 after an outstanding 39-year career as a speech and debate coach in the state of Washington. Burton started his career in 1969 at White River High School in Buckley, Washington, and then served for 25 years in the Auburn, Washington, School District. He closed his career with a nine-year stint at Eastside Catholic High School in Bellevue, where he started the speech and debate program in 2000. Burton’s students won three national championships and 36 state championships. He was known for building the Auburn forensics program into one of the largest and most successful in the nation, with 120 to 150 students involved. He served on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Forensics Committee for 14 years and was the National Catholic Forensic League diocese director. Burton also coached baseball for 15 years and was a highly successful high school and college football official for 36 years. Burton was president of the NFHS Officials Association in 1998.


Ohio University is new NFHS Corporate Partner

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 12, 2015) – Ohio University, the nation’s ninth oldest public university and a pioneer in sports education, has entered into a one-year agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations as an NFHS Corporate Partner.

As part of the agreement, Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio, will be considered one of three exclusive NFHS Partners for the NFHS Coach Education Program, and the only Educational Academic Program Partner of the NFHS.

“We are pleased to enter this agreement with Ohio University, a long-time leader in sports administration programs,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “These master’s programs provide an excellent opportunity for coaches and athletic administrators to advance their careers.”

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s best universities, Ohio University offers two distinct graduate programs for athletic leaders: the Online Master’s in Athletic Administration (MAA) and the Online Master’s in Coaching Education (MCE).

Designed exclusively for busy professionals, coursework for the MAA and MCE programs is delivered 100 percent online. The innovative online format gives coaches and athletic administrators the flexibility needed to advance their education without having to put their career on hold.

                We have a strong appreciation for the NFHS and consider it an honor to be named a corporate partner,” said Dr. Scott Smith, program director for Ohio University’s online MAA program. “To strategically align ourselves with such a tremendous brand and education-based leader in interscholastic sports will only heighten our ability to support the growth of today’s best coaches and athletic directors. 

As the first specialized academic sports program in the country, Ohio University’s online Master’s in Athletic Administration is focused solely on developing interscholastic athletic directors and preparing them for National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certification. To learn more about Ohio University’s online MAA program, visit: http://athleticadminonline.ohio.edu/

The online MCE program prepares coaches to excel at all levels of competition through a challenging curriculum based on the National Association of Sport and Physical Education’s (NASPE) “8 Domains of Coaching.”  For more information regarding the online MCE program, visit: http://mastersincoachingonline.ohio.edu/.

Applications for both programs are currently being accepted for the Fall 2015 term. No GRE or GMAT is required to apply. Both programs can be completed in two years.


Public-Address Announcers to be Recognized During National High School Activities Month

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 20, 2015) – For the first time, public-address announcers will be recognized and celebrated during “National High School Activities Month” sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) this October. During the October 1-10 timeframe, a focus on what public-address announcers bring to the high school activities experience will be included with sportsmanship and fan appreciation.

“Public-address announcers have a lot of control, and really set the stage for fans and participants to enjoy the athletic experience,” said Elliot Hopkins, director of sports and student services at the NFHS. “Therefore, we thought it was important to include public-address announcers and celebrate their importance in high schools across America during Activities Month.”

The NFHS initially created National High School Activities Week in 1980 to increase the public’s awareness of the values and benefits inherent in high school athletics and other co-curricular activities. Activities Week has since expanded into Activities Month, with each week designed to promote and celebrate different areas of high school activities. The first week of Activities Month will now be called National Sportsmanship, Fan Appreciation and Public-Address Announcers Week.   

In addition to promoting the values of sportsmanship and acknowledging those faithful fans of high school sports, schools are now encouraged to acknowledge the dedication and service that public-address announcers provide at every athletic contest.

The addition of public-address announcers to Activities Month was due, in part, to the focus being directed to these individuals by the National Association for Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA). NASPAA was founded several years ago by Brad Rumble, former assistant director of the NFHS.

“Besides the fact that [announcers] enjoy what they do, the primary reason they announce is to give back to the athletes, school and community,” Rumble said.  “Because of public-address announcers who know their role and follow approved public-address announcing guidelines, games and events are significantly enhanced. For these reasons and for their decades of service to high school sports, the NASPAA is proud to partner with the NFHS to make it possible for the men, women and student public-address announcers to be recognized by being included in National High School Activities Month."


Registration Now Open for Inaugural NFHS Network Broadcast Academy

First 50 Students to Attend Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Atlanta Braves Broadcast Experience

 

ATLANTA (January 14, 2015) - The NFHS Network, the nation’s leading high school sports media company, has opened early registration for the first-ever NFHS Network Broadcast Academy to be held July 17-19, 2015 in Atlanta, GA.  High school broadcasting students, faculty and family members are invited to register at: www.nfhsnetwork.com/broadcastacademy.

The event will kick off on Friday at the Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs baseball game at Turner Field at 7:35 p.m.  The first 50 students to register will gain exclusive access to a behind-the-scenes Atlanta Braves broadcast experience prior to the game.

Intimate hands-on workshops conducted by NFHS Network producers will enable students to learn pre- and post-production best practices, announce a live sporting event, create a live studio show and produce an original feature package.  General sessions will feature prominent broadcasters and executives from ESPN, Turner Sports and NBC Sports. 

 

Attendees will also hear from Vicki Michaelis, Carmical Distinguished Professor in Sports Journalism, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, about pursuing journalism in college, Robert Sherman, a student who successfully started a broadcasting program at his high school and is now producing events in college, and Adam Zimmerman, President, CSE, who will discuss best practices for marketing events and increasing your audience.

 

In addition, high school broadcast programs and students from across the country will be recognized for their accomplishments during the first annual NFHS Network Broadcast Academy Awards ceremony on Saturday, July 18.  The submission deadline is February 15.

 

Detailed information including the full agenda, workshop and session descriptions, award categories and selection process is available online at: www.nfhsnetwork.com/broadcastacademy.   Early registration rates for conference passes and hotel rooms will be valid until April 15.

About the NFHS Network

 

The NFHS Network is the single online destination for watching high school sports and other events live and on demand from anywhere at anytime.   Students participating in the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program, which provides high schools with the technology platform, training and support to broadcast their own regular season games online, now produce the majority of the events on the NFHS Network.

All NFHS Network events are available online at www.NFHSnetwork.com.  Follow the NFHS Network on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram at @NFHSnetwork for the latest news and event information.

 

Contact:

Ashley Peden                                                

PR Agency, PlayOn! Sports  

404-931-1394                                  

apeden@groupcse.com                   


AHSAA’s Wanda Gilliland Among 12 Leaders To Receive NFHS Citations at 96th Annual Meeting

        INDIANAPOLIS — Wanda Gilliland, Assistant Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, is among 12 leaders in high school activity programs across the country selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations.

        An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly-regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.

       The 2015 Citation recipients will receive their awards July 1 at the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans.  

       Gilliland has been an assistant director with the AHSAA since 1996. A graduate of Marion County High School and Athens State College, she served as a teacher and coach/athletic director at Hamilton High School from 1979-1996 where her girls basketball teams compiled a 301-96 record, won a state championship in 1990, finished runner-up the next year and won the Marion County tournament seven times.
      She has played a key role in the development of state championship programs in volleyball, softball, basketball and cross country. She has helped govern eligibility requirements through involvement with school audits, investigations and foreign exchange student regulations.
      Gilliland has received several coach of the year honors and served on the NFHS basketball, softball and spirit rules committees. She currently chairs the NFHS Softball Rules Committee. She was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Marion County Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
      She is the fifth Alabama recipient of the prestigious award. Others include Ken Blankenship (Coaches Citation) in 2000, Greg Brewer in 2006, Houston Young (Officials Citation) in 2010, and Alan Mitchell in 2012.

      Gilliland, the Section 3 recipient, is one of eight Citation honorees
representing NFHS-member state high school associations. The other four recipients represent NFHS professional organizations for officials, coaches, music leaders and speech/debate/theatre directors.
      The other state association recipients are Pat Corbin, retired executive director of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association; Butch Powell, assistant executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission; Scott Johnson, assistant executive director of the Illinois High School Association; Cheryl Gleason, assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association;
      Amy Cassell, assistant director of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association; Dwight Toyama, former executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association and the Oahu Interscholastic Association; and John Billetz, retired executive director of the Idaho High School Activities Association.

      Citation recipients in other categories are James Coon, volleyball official, Pittsboro, Indiana; Milt Bassett, executive director, Oklahoma Coaches Association, Edmond, Oklahoma; Jean Ney, retired coordinator of fine arts, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, Bonner Springs, Kansas; and Darrel Harbaugh, retired director of debate and forensics, Field Kindley Memorial High School, Coffeyville, Kansas. 


North Carolina’s Davis Whitfield to Join NFHS Staff as Chief Operating Officer

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (January 26, 2015) — Davis Whitfield, commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) for the past five years, has been selected chief operating officer of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), effective July 1, 2015.

Whitfield will succeed Jim Tenopir, who is retiring this summer after five years as the organization’s chief operating officer.

“I am pleased that Davis will be joining our staff this summer,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “During his time as commissioner of the North Carolina association, Davis has proven to be an innovative leader. He also will bring a valuable perspective on national issues from his years at the college level. I look forward to working with him in leading our staff in the coming years.”

Since taking over as commissioner of the NCHSAA in January 2010, Whitfield has instituted a five-year strategic plan; enhanced the championship experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans at NCHSAA events; and organized and directed the organization’s 100th anniversary celebration.

In addition, Whitfield created a committee which led to a new student-athlete transfer policy, implemented championship cost-cutting policies and procedures, restructured the NCHSAA Handbook, and developed the Education and Athletics Committee, which evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of current NCHSAA policy and procedure.

     Prior to his appointment as NCHSAA commissioner, Whitfield was on the administrative staff of the Atlantic Coast Conference for 7½ years, including the final 2½ years as associate commissioner.

     Among his duties at the ACC, Whitfield directed and coordinated all television liaison activities for regular-season ACC football, managing a staff of 20 individuals. He also assisted with the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, developed and managed an Olympic sports budget of $4 million, and was responsible for directing all regular-season and championship activities for 22 Olympic sports.

Whitfield was the site representative for several NCAA championships. He also represented the ACC at local, regional and state events, and he worked with ACC corporate partners to create and fulfill exposure opportunities.

Before his move to the ACC office, Whitfield served in the athletic department at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, including two years as director of operations and facilities management and two years as assistant athletic director for operations and facilities. He began his career in sports administration in 1995 at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, where he was assistant athletic director for operations and facilities for three years.

     Whitfield attended East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where he was a dean’s list student and played on the school’s baseball team, before transferring to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UNC in 1993 and his master’s in sports administration in 1995.

Whitfield and his wife, Nicole, have three children: Will, Grace and Wesley.


Weather Decision Technologies is new NFHS Corporate Sponsor

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (December 10, 2014) — Weather Decision Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in providing organizations with weather decision support on a global scale, has entered into a three-year agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations as an NFHS Corporate Partner.

As a part of the agreement, Weather Decision Technologies (WDT), with offices in Norman, Oklahoma, and Houston, Texas, will be the exclusive NFHS partner for soccer, which will include coverage in the sport’s rules book, rules poster, scorebook and rules PowerPoint. 

Among the many products and services offered by WDT is STRIKE, a lightning detection and alerting application currently available on iOS and Android devices. STRIKE harnesses the power of Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN), combining it with a patented alerting engine developed by WDT to deliver instant notifications to individuals whether they are on or off the field. An alert is sent when a lightning strike is first detected within six miles of the event, and an all-clear is sent when no lightning is detected within that range for 30 minutes. These distance rules are recommended by lightning experts, as well as the NCAA, NFHS and other sports associations to minimize risk while outdoors.

For school districts and large organizations, STRIKE Plus includes a bulk app package along with WDT’s exclusive WeatherOps Commander, a complete weather-monitoring system that brings a myriad of advanced lightning-strike display and weather-alerting technologies into one concise, interactive package.

WDT is a partner and founding contributor of The Event Safety Alliance (ESA), a non-profit safety trade association dedicated to promoting the concept of “life safety first” during all phases of event production.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Weather Decision Technologies,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “With WDT’s background in lightning detection and its accompanying app, this will offer our member state associations and the nation’s high schools some additional resources for minimizing risk of injury in high school sports. We look forward to working with WDT over the next three years.”

“Lightning is unpredictable and the key to safety is preparation and awareness,” says Mike Eilts, chief executive officer of Weather Decision Technologies. “We strive to create technology that ensures awareness resulting in saved lives and protected assets. We see this relationship as an opportunity to help protect those who serve and play under the NFHS.”


NFHS Concussion Task Force Recommendations to be Discussed by State Associations for Implementation in 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 12, 2014) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has finalized its position paper from the NFHS Concussion Summit Task Force, which met in July to develop recommendations for minimizing the risk of concussions and head impact exposure in high school football.

The recommendations, which have been shared with the 51 NFHS-member state high school associations, and approved by the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and the NFHS Board of Directors, will be discussed by state associations at the NFHS Winter Meeting in early January for implementation in the 2015 football season.

The 24-member task force, which featured medical doctors, athletic trainers, high school coaches and key national leaders in high school sports, developed nine fundamentals for minimizing head impact exposure and concussion risk in football. They were designed to allow flexibility for state associations that collectively oversee the more than 15,000 high schools across the country that have football programs. As a result, each state high school association will be developing its own policies and procedures for implementation in the 2015 season.

Many of the recommendations focus on reducing the amount of full contact, including limiting the amount of full contact in practices during the season.

The Concussion Summit was the latest effort by the NFHS to minimize risk for the almost 7.8 million student participants in high school sports. In 2008, the SMAC advocated that a concussed athlete must be removed from play and not allowed to play on the same day. For the past five years, all NFHS rules publications have contained guidelines for the management of a student exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion. In 2010, the NFHS developed on online course – “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know” – and about 1.7 million individuals have taken the course through the NFHS Coach Education Program at www.nfhslearn.com.

The “Recommendations and Guidelines for Minimizing Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Risk in Football” position paper is posted on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.