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.



Ashley Peden                                                

PR Agency, PlayOn! Sports  



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.

NFHS, NISCA release “Coaching Swimming” on nfhslearn.com

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 24, 2014) – The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has added a course for swimming coaches to its lineup of sport-specific online courses available through the NFHS Learning Center at www.nfhslearn.com

“Coaching Swimming” was developed with assistance from the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) and focuses on how to administer a student-first swimming program.

Topics covered in Coaching Swimming include recruitment, pre-event management, interscholastic coaching philosophy, differences in club and high school teams, communication and risk management. The course also teaches the basics of the four competitive swimming strokes, start variations and flip turns, and it highlights information from the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Book.

“It is important that coaches have a strong foundation in skills and a strong concern for the safety of their athletes,” said Arvel McElroy, NISCA president-elect. “Completing [Coaching Swimming] provides this opportunity. I applaud the NFHS for its forward-thinking vision to provide certification programs for coaches.”

NISCA is a volunteer organization that supports high school coaches of all aquatic sports.  It is dedicated to coaches education and athlete recognition.

“The NFHS is pleased to partner with NISCA and looks forward to offering Coaching Swimming to coaches nationwide,” said Dan Schuster, director of NFHS Coach Education.

With the addition of Coaching Swimming, the NFHS now has 35 online courses, including two core courses – Fundamentals of Coaching and First Aid, Health and Safety – and 16 sport-specific courses.

Gill Athletics Announced as NFHS Corporate Partner






Gill Athletics Announced as NFHS Corporate Partner

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 1, 2014) — Gill Athletics, the oldest and largest manufacturer of track and field equipment in the United States and around the world, 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, Gill Athletics, based in Champaign, Illinois, will be the exclusive NFHS partner for track and field, which will include coverage in the sport’s rules book, case book, rules poster, scorebook and rules PowerPoint. 

“We are pleased to have Gill Athletics join the NFHS as a corporate partner and to be our exclusive sponsor of track and field,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “In the high school market, Gill has been the leading supplier of track and field equipment for many years, so we believe this is a great partnership for both organizations. Track and field is No. 2 in school sponsorship for both boys and girls, so it is great to have Gill on board with the NFHS. We look forward to working with Gill over the next three years.”

Started by Harry Gill in 1918, Gill Athletics is the largest producer of track and field equipment in the world. Gill is the Official Equipment Supplier of USA Track and Field and currently produces more International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-certified products than any company in the industry.

“Gill Athletics considers it an honor to partner with the NFHS as its track and field equipment sponsor,” said Fred Dixon, national sales manager for Gill Athletics. “We could not have any greater appreciation for the work done by the NFHS, and we look forward to providing our full support for years to come.”

Cotton State Rankings at Stake as Two Teams Meet for the First Time

NFHS Blog on the Opelika vs Pell City Football Game. Click here