BIRMINGHAM – Raycom Sports and the NFHS Network have partnered to live-stream all 14 AHSAA 2018 State Basketball finals over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform – beginning with the Class 1A girls’ state championship game between Spring Garden and Phillips, which is currently underway at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The agreement was reached Thursday afternoon.
Those with NFHS Network subscriptions will be able to access all games at no additional charge.
Raycom Sports, the official AHSAA TV partner, is broadcasting all finals over its TV network. Complete information is available at www.ahsaa.com. Those stations include:
WBRC TV Fox 6
WDFXTV Fox 34
WAFF TV 48
WKRG TV d.3 channel (Me TV)
WSFA TV NBC 12
WTVM TV 9 (Opelika / Phenix City)
The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games live over its radio and internet network. It can be accessed at www.ahsaa.com
MONTGOMERY — Buddy Anderson, the AHSAA’s career football-coaching wins leader, headlines the 2018 class of the National High School Hall of Fame administered by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Anderson joins a class of 12 that includes Tom Osborne, the 1955 Nebraska High School Athlete of the Year who later led the University of Nebraska to three national football championships in 25 years as the school’s coach; and Dick Fosbury, who revolutionized the high jump as a high school athlete in Oregon when he developed a technique that became known as the “Fosbury Flop” were selected as athletes in Class of 2018.
Vestavia Hills’ legendary coach, one of five coaches selected, will be beginning his 41st year as the Rebels’ head football coach next fall. His overall 329-146 coaching record ranks is the most wins of any high school football coach in state history.
A strong man of faith and character, he guided the Rebels to state football titles in 1980 and 1998. His teams have compiled a 47-28 playoff record in 29 appearances. He had a stretch from 1993 to 2004 with 12 straight playoff appearances and his teams have missed the playoffs in back-to-back years just once since 1984. Anderson and his father Dovey Anderson became the first father-son coaching tandem to be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. Dovey, who spent his entire coaching career at Thomasville High School, was inducted into the charter class in 1991. Buddy, who has spent his entire coaching career at Vestavia Hills, was inducted in 2003.
“Buddy Anderson is an outstanding football coach, but more importantly, he is a role model all coaches can emulate. His influence as a teacher and coach will have a positive impact for student-athletes and coaches in this state for many years to come,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “Buddy is just the fourth coach from our state to be selected for induction into this prestigious hall of fame. Through his strong commitment to faith and character, he exemplifies all the right lessons that participation in educational-based athletics can teach. ”
The Class of 2018 will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. The 36th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 99th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
Anderson will become the fourth high school coach from the state and 12th Alabamian to be enshrined. Others include: former AHSAA Executive Directors Cliff Harper (1987), Herman L. “Bubba” Scott (1990) and Dan Washburn (2011); coaches Glenn Daniel (1999); Wallace Guy O’Brien (1992) and Jim Tate (2013); athletes Bart Starr (1989), Pat Sullivan (2012) and Ozzie Newsome (2014); and contest officials Dan Gaylord (1988) and Sam Short (2007). Two other athletes, Olympic Gold Medal track stars Jesse Owens and Harrison Dillard, were born in Alabama and both moved as youngsters to Cleveland (Ohio) and attended the same high school in that state.
Osborne was a three-sport standout (football, basketball, track and field) at Hastings (Nebraska) football history. Fosbury developed the upside-down, back-layout leap known as the Fosbury Flop at Medford (Oregon) High School and later perfected it by winning the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
The other outstanding coaches selected for the 2018 class, include Miller Bugliari, the all-time leader nationally in boys soccer coaching victories with a 850-116-75 record in 58 years at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and Dorothy Gaters, the Illinois state leader with 1,106 career victories in 42 years as girls basketball coach at John Marshall High School in Chicago who won her ninth Illinois High School Association state title last weekend.
Other coaches who will be honored this year are Jeff Meister, girls and boys swimming coach at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, who has led his teams to a combined 34 Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships; and Bill O’Neil, who retired last year after winning almost 1,300 games as the boys ice hockey, girls soccer and girls softball coach at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont.
Other former high school athletes chosen for the 2018 class are Nicole Powell, one of Arizona’s top all-time girls basketball players during her days at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix who later excelled at Stanford University and in the WNBA, and Carrie Tollefson, who won five state cross country championships and eight individual track titles at Dawson-Boyd High School in Dawson, Minnesota, before winning individual and team NCAA titles while competing at Villanova University and qualifying for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.
The other three members of the 2018 class are Roger Barr, who retired in 2015 after a 43-year career in high school officiating in Iowa, including the final 13 years as director of officials for the Iowa High School Athletic Association; Dick Neal, who retired in 2013 after a 34-year career as executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association; and Bill Zurkey, who retired in 2012 after an outstanding 35-year career as a choral director in three Ohio schools, including the final 25 years at Avon Lake High School.
These four athletes, five coaches, one contest official, one administrator and one performing arts director will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. The 36th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 99th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
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 performing arts programs. This year’s class increases the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 470.
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 2018 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.
Buddy Anderson is Alabama’s all-time winningest football coach – at any level. Not only is he the top high school football coach with 329 victories in 40 years at Vestavia Hills High School, he has more wins than college coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant (323), Nick Saban (216), Ralph “Shug” Jordan (176) and Pat Dye (153). Anderson’s teams have won 16 area and region championships and made 30 state playoff appearances, including state championships in 1980 and 1998, when his team finished 15-0 and was ranked nationally. Despite the demands of being a head football coach, Anderson has also served as the school’s athletic director for 40 years, and the school’s teams have won 66 state championships during his tenure, including 14 state wrestling titles and nine state baseball championships. Anderson was selected Alabama Coach of the Year three times, and he was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Miller Bugliari is an icon at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, where he has been the school’s boys soccer coach since 1960. The 82-year-old Bugliari has amassed a national record 850 victories and led his teams to 26 Prep A and New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association state championships. His teams have registered 20 undefeated seasons and won 27 county championships. Bugliari has been named New Jersey State Coach of the Year seven times, and he has earned four National Coach of the Year awards. He is a former president of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and was inducted into the NSCAA Hall of Fame and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006. Bugliari was a teacher in the Science Department at Pingry for many years and now is Special Assistant to the Headmaster.
Dorothy Gaters is the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) career leader in basketball coaching victories – for both boys and girls. After completing a 22-7 season at John Marshall High School in Chicago last weekend and winning her ninth IHSA state girls basketball championship, Gaters’ record stands at 1,106-198. Her teams won the Class AA title in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1999, and the Class 3A title in 2008. Gaters’ teams at John Marshall have finished second three other times and third on six other occasions. During her 42-year career at John Marshall, her teams have won 24 Chicago Public Schools championships and qualified for the IHSA state finals 26 times. Gaters was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996 and the prestigious Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. She was selected as a coach for the Junior Olympic team in 2000 and the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2011.
Jeff Meister has become one of the top swimming coaches in the nation during the past 30 years at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Taking over the Punahou swimming program in 1988, Meister has led the boys and girls teams to 34 Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) state championships – 16 boys and 18 girls – including 2018 titles for both squads last month. Although the Punahou program had enjoyed success in swimming prior to Meister’s arrival (47 all-time boys state titles, 51 all-time girls state titles), he has taken the program to another level and is the winningest high school swimming coach in state history. Meister’s teams have won 34 Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) championships, and he has been named ILH Coach of the Year 24 times. Meister has also served as the school’s athletic director for nine years after 11 years as associate athletic director. In addition, he has served as HHSAA State Track and Field Coordinator for 14 years and State Swimming Coordinator for eight years. Meister is currently serving a term on the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee.
Bill O’Neil was one of the top multi-sport coaches in Vermont history – and perhaps nationally – during his 45-year coaching career at Essex High School. O’Neil compiled a 396-176-52 record in 37 years (1979-2015) as girls soccer coach, a 636-292-33 record in 44 years (1973-2017) as the boys ice hockey coach and a 261-124 record in 22 years (1979, 1992-2012) as the girls softball coach. This rather unique girls-and-boys sport combination yielded an overall record of 1,293-592-32, which is almost 2,000 varsity games coached at Essex. O’Neil led his various teams to 24 Vermont Principals’ Association state championships – 14 in hockey, six in girls soccer and four in girls softball. He has received numerous coach-of-the-year awards in all three sports. Though he has retired from his coaching duties, O’Neil continues to serve as an English teacher at Essex High School, which he has done since joining the faculty in 1965.
Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump when, as a sophomore at Medford (Oregon) High School in 1963, he used his new technique which became known as the Fosbury Flop. The upside-down, back-layout style became the standard as all records around the world have been established by athletes using the Fosbury Flop. Using his new method, Fosbury improved his jumps from 5-4 as a sophomore to 6-5½ as a senior and placed second in the state meet. He continued to perfect the “Flop” at Oregon State University, where he claimed the NCAA high jump title in 1968 with a 7-2¼ effort. That same year, Fosbury won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City with a 7-4¼ jump, which broke both the Olympic and American records. Fosbury was named to the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. He retired in 2011 after 30 years as a civil engineer in Idaho, but he continues to coach athletes at Dick Fosbury Track Camps in Maine and Idaho.
Tom Osborne was one of Nebraska’s top high school athletes during his days at Hastings High School from 1951 to 1955. He was the starting quarterback on the football team and helped the basketball team to the Class A state championship in 1954. In track and field, Osborne was state champion in the discus and runner-up in the 440-yard dash. In addition, he played American Legion baseball and helped his 1954 team to a second-place finish in the state tournament as a third baseman and pitcher. Osborne earned all-state honors in basketball and football and was named Nebraska High School Athlete of the Year in 1955. After an outstanding career at Hastings College and a few years in the National Football League, Osborne began his college coaching career. In 25 years as football coach at the University of Nebraska, Osborne compiled a 255-49-3 record, with 25 consecutive bowl appearances, 13 conference titles and three national championships. Following his coaching career, Osborne was elected to the U.S. Congress, and then returned to Lincoln in 2007 to serve as the Nebraska athletic director for five years.
Nicole Powell was one of the top basketball players in Arizona history during her four years (1996-2000) at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix. She collected 1,820 rebounds (eighth all-time nationally) and scored 2,486 points – second highest in state history. She helped her teams to three second-place finishes in the Arizona Interscholastic Association state tournament. As a senior, Powell also won the state discus event in track and field and the singles state title in badminton, and she also participated in tennis and cross country. Powell continued to excel at the next level, leading Stanford University to four Pacific-10 Conference basketball titles. She averaged more than 17 points and almost 10 rebounds per game and was named Pac-10 Player of the Year two times. Powell was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2004 WNBA draft and played 11 seasons with five teams. After her playing career ended, Powell became assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Oregon before being named head women’s basketball coach at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix in April 2017.
Carrie Tollefson won five Minnesota State High School League state cross country championships at Dawson-Boyd High School from 1990 to 1994, including the first as an eighth-grader. She also won eight individual track and field titles in the 1600 and 3200 meters, and she set a state record in the 3200 meters in 1994 with a time of 10:30.28. Tollefson’s 13 individual titles in cross country and track are the most ever in the state. Tollefson’s dominance continued at Villanova University, where she won five individual NCAA titles – the indoor and outdoor 3K, the outdoor 5K and two cross country titles – and helped her team to the 1999 NCAA team championship. She was a 10-time All-American and the 1998 NCAA Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Tollefson made the 2004 U.S. Olympic team and participated in the 1500 meters in Athens, Greece. Since her competitive days concluded, Tollefson has conducted distance running camps and served as a motivational speaker and clinic presenter, and she hosts a weekly online show on running and fitness entitled “C Tolle Run.”
Roger Barr devoted 43 years of his life to the avocation of officiating – first as a high school football, basketball and baseball official in Iowa for 30 years, followed by 13 years as director of officials for the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA). Barr was one of the top-rated officials in all three sports throughout his career, which earned him numerous playoff assignments. In football, Barr officiated 30 state tournaments, including 10 championship games. In baseball, he worked 26 state tournaments, including 24 championship contests. And in basketball, he officiated 26 state boys tournaments and 27 state girls tournaments, which included a total of 22 championship games. Barr conducted rules interpretation meetings in all three sports throughout the state during his officiating days, and in 2003, he joined the IHSAA staff as director of officials. He conducted rules meetings and clinics for the IHSAA for 13 years before retiring in December 2015.
Dick Neal retired in 2013 after 34 years as executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). At the time of his retirement, Neal was the longest-tenured active director of a state high school association. He also served as chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association (MSSAA) for 34 years. During his tenure as MIAA executive director, Neal was responsible for initiating the effort to increase leadership of both women and minorities in high school sports in Massachusetts, and he wrote and recommended the amendment that created the MIAA Standing Committee on Sportsmanship, Integrity and Ethics. Neal served a term on the NFHS Executive Committee from 1989 to 1992 and was vice president during his final year. He also served as a member of the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee and director of the NFHS Fund Administrators Association. Neal previously received the NFHS Citation and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Distinguished Service Award.
Bill Zurkey had a profound impact on thousands of young people during his career as a choral music director at three Ohio high schools. After 10 years at Toledo DeVilbiss High School and Vermillion High School, Zurkey moved to Avon Lake High School in 1987 to rejuvenate a music program that was spiraling downward. In a short time, Zurkey expanded the choral program from less than 100 singers to more than 400. His squads won Ohio Music Education Association superior ratings for 20 years. Despite his full load of music classes, including teaching AP Music Theory and serving as chair of the Fine Arts Department, Zurkey was the eighth-grade football coach for 24 years, as he helped build a program which led to Avon Lake High School winning the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football title in 2003. Since his retirement in 2012, Zurkey has been a teacher at Cleveland State University and is in his sixth year as director of the Cleveland Pops Chorus. Zurkey is the 13th individual to be inducted in the Performing Arts category in the National High School Hall of Fame.
MONTGOMERY – Midfield High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
Furthermore, all regular-season contests the boys’ varsity basketball program played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. On page 27 of the AHSAA 2017-18 Sports Book, it states in item 2: Schools are permitted to play (a maximum) 20 regular-season games and (unlimited contests) in three tournaments prior to area, sub-regional, regional and State Finals play.
Restitution begins immediately. Midfield, the Area 8 tournament champion, will not participate in the Class 3A sub-regional playoff game versus Area 7 tournament runner-up American Christian. As a result, American Christian will advance to the Central Regional Tournament.
The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved the financial reports for all fall sports at Wednesday’s annual Winter Central Board meeting at the AHSAA Office.
The Board approved reports for the Super 7 football championships, volleyball, cross country and swimming and approved the 2017 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game financial report as well. The game was played at Hattiesburg (MS) last December.
The Central Board reviewed legislative proposals that were submitted in January by member schools prior to the board meeting. The AHSAA Legislative Council will vote on the proposals at April’s Legislative Council meeting. Schools are being surveyed this month for their input.
In other Central Board action:
-- Reviewed a football playoff comparison (for the first four rounds).
-- Approved expenses for the upcoming 2017 State Basketball Tournament.
-- Heard a presentation from St. Paul’s Episcopal
-- Was updated concerning NFHS E-Sports
The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the recent death of Coach Willie Averett. Mr. Averett, 90, who served 33 of his 35 years in Monroe County as a successful teacher, basketball coach and athletic director at J. F. Shields High School, was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. Our prayers and condolences go out to the Mr. Averett’s family and his extended J.F. Shields High School family.
He guided the 1972 team, led by John Drew, to its first-ever state championship. He also coached Tony Stallworth, the AHSAA’s current Associate Executive Director. The highly respected coach was selected to coach in the in the North-South all-star game and received coach-of-the-year honors three times. The school gym is named in his honor. He is a graduate of Georgiana Training High School and Alabama State University.
“Coach Averett was a legend in many ways,” said Stallworth. “I can personally give him credit for my career decisions upon leaving high school. He inspired me by the way he approached his physical education classes. He always taught the rules and skills of each activity before the physical aspect. His words were “You can’t play a sport if you don’t know anything about it.” He taught by example, which inspired each one of us to perform to the highest.
“I was also amazed with his coaching and game management during athletic events. Coach was tough and demanding and was a devout Christian man who always put God first. He was my mentor. I credit any successes in my life as a teacher, coach and administrator to him. The last conversation I had with him was an emotional one where he once again told me how proud he was of (former teammate) Jerome Sanders and myself for keeping his dream alive in the coaching profession. We both thanked him for being such a major influence and strong model in our lives. He will be a legend forever.”
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January, 24, at 11 a.m., at Friendship Baptist Church in Georgiana.
January 12, 2018
SUBJECT: AHSAA Job Announcement
Due to a recent vacancy, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) is seeking applicants for the position of Administrative Secretary. Applications will be accepted immediately through Monday, January 29, 2018.
Summary of Administrative Secretary Position
We are currently seeking a reliable, responsible Administrative Secretary to assist the AHSAA Executive Director and the executive staff in the day-to-day operations of said organization, which include regulating and coordinating interscholastic athletic competition in an equitable manner while promoting the value of interscholastic athletics as an integral part of a student’s education-athletic experience by representing all member schools.
This position is to support the AHSAA executive staff by providing timely and quality assistance in all administrative and clerical capacities to assistant directors within our organization. The ideal candidate will be skilled and organized including ability to multi-task as well as professional in dress and actions. To be successful, candidates should be self-motivated and proactive, able to work under pressure to meet deadlines, and have exceptional communication skills. Previous experience as an Executive Assistant/Secretary is strongly preferred, but not required. All applicants must be very familiar with office management technologies, including Microsoft Office.
Qualifications of Administrative Secretary
The requirements listed below are representative of the education, experience, knowledge, skill and/or ability required.
§ Minimum education requirement: High school or GED (college preferred)
§ Proficient English background
§ Excellent communication, organizational, and presentation skills
§ Self-directed leader who demonstrates initiative
§ Computer and Microsoft Office, Adobe, and Photoshop, as well as other technological skills
§ Availability to work occasional overtime at various times throughout the year (some nights/weekends)
§ Social Media proficiency with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc. (Not required, but desired)
§ Graphic design and/or digital editing skills (Not required, but desired)
Essential Functions of Administrative Secretary
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.
§ Communicate with administrators and coaches from across the state by phone and email blasts
§ Assist Special Programs Director in coordination of all Lunch & Learn clinics
§ Assist AHSADCA Director in coordination, planning and implementation of the Principals’ and Athletic Directors’ Conference and the Summer Conference
§ Assist Technology Director with transcripts and questions from member schools
§ Serve as receptionist, along with other secretaries/Answer phones, etc.
§ Proficiency with the usage of C2C or other content management software
§ Assist Assistant Director with fine/ejections
§ Send timely notifications and receipt payments into Access data base
§ Distribution of Faxes to executive staff
§ Bus Reclassification Coordinator
§ Assist Associate Executive Director with the Middle School Conference
§ Assist assistant directors with creation of Power Points
§ Assist with printing and mailing of AHSADCA membership cards
§ Assist with printing and mailing of ECO cards
§ Ability to use audit software to monitor member schools with required documents using Dragonfly
or other document management software
§ Any other duties as assigned by the Executive Director and/or Office Manager
Salary: Commensurate with qualifications
All completed cover letters and resumes should be emailed as an attachment to:
Sandy Logan, Office Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for submission of applications: Monday, January 29, 2018
Former T.R. Miller principal Frank Cotten passed away Thursday, Jan. 4.
Mr. Cotten was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 after serving 14 years on the AHSAA District 1 Board and six years on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He served one term as president.
“We are very thankful for Mr. Cotten and his life of service,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “All of us in his AHSAA family mourn his passing and offer our condolences to his family.”
Mr. Cotten contributed to T. R. Miller High School athletics for more than 30 years, first as a coach and later as an administrator for the last half of his career in education. He coached basketball for seven years with a 128-42 record and led seven football teams to a 65-19 record and three playoff appearances.
A graduate of Coffeeville High School and Livingston University, Cotten spent five seasons, from 1960-64, as the head coach at Coffeeville, his alma mater in rural Clarke County. He coached one year at Macon Academy before leading T.R. Miller's football program from 1973-80. He stepped down in 2016 after serving on the Brewton City Council for more almost two decades.
Funeral services will be Saturday at First Baptist Church in Brewton, with visitation from noon to 3 p.m., followed by the service. He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (December 20, 2017) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Special Olympics North America (SONA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to continue their collaborative efforts of advancing inclusion programs for students with disabilities.
While working through the organizational structures of both organizations, the stated goals of the partnership are to 1) increase participation of students with intellectual disabilities through interscholastic Special Olympics Unified Sports® and other inclusive school programs; 2) support official partnerships between NFHS member state associations and/or local schools and Special Olympics state Programs; and 3) increase the quality of inclusion programs in schools nationwide by serving as a resource for NFHS state associations and SONA state Programs.
Unified Sports is a fully inclusive sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) as teammates for training and competition. There are more than 5,000 schools in the United States that currently offer Unified Sports, with a growing number participating in varsity-style interscholastic leagues. This resulted in more than 200,000 students experiencing Unified Sports during the 2016-17 school year. In a recent evaluation report, 97 percent of high school seniors say that the Unified Champion Schools program is changing their school for the better.
“Essentially, this MOU brings together and re-affirms all the tremendous work being done by both organizations in offering programs for students with disabilities and the desire on the part of both groups to continue moving forward to serve these students in our nation’s schools,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “Through our online course, our online materials and working cooperatively with Special Olympics at conferences and in other projects, we look forward to continuing this important work through our member state associations.”
To kick off the agreement between the two organizations, the NFHS and Special Olympics have released the revised online education course “Coaching Unified Sports” on the NFHS Learning Center at www.NFHSLearn.com.
The updated course, which is hosted by Kevin Negandhi of ESPN’s SportsCenter, is offered at no cost for coaches and educators wishing to implement Special Olympics Unified Sports in their schools. The “Coaching Unified Sports” course is one of 58 online offerings through the NFHS Learning Center, which has delivered more than six million courses since its launch in 2007.
Other goals for the partnership include continued education on inclusion programs at NFHS conferences, increasing awareness of Unified Sports programs by posting success stories on the NFHS website and through social media, and development of a Unified Sports Experience model program for use at the local and state levels.
The NFHS currently offers numerous resources and articles related to the inclusion of students with disabilities on its website at http://www.nfhs.org/resources/student-services-inclusion/inclusion-of-students-with-disabilities.
In addition to providing content and resources for the newly updated online course on the NFHS Learning Center, Special Olympics will continue to provide its Unified Sports Experience at the annual NFHS National Student Leadership Summit each summer in Indianapolis, and will assist the NFHS with the collection of success stories and provide training and education at various state conferences.
“We are proud to have partnered with the NFHS, the NFL Foundation and the U.S. Office of Special Education Program at the U.S. Department of Education on the creation of the Coaching Unified Sports Course,” said Marc Edenzon, Regional President of Special Olympics North America. “This new and improved online coach course is vital to achieving the goal of having 15,000 certified coaches by 2020 while also providing training to ensure coaches are equipped with the knowledge to offer the best possible experience to all Unified Sports teammates.”
By Sue Marshall
Former Athletic Administrator and Varsity Coach at Randolph School, Huntsville
and Major Lane
Principal at Goshen High School
The Alabama High School Athletic Association is made up of more than 400 high schools, along with 300 junior highs and middle schools. These schools are as varied as the thousands of students who walk their halls and run the athletics courts and fields all across the state.
Members include public, private and parochial schools that can have a vastly different focus on their shared mission of educating their students. There is one thing that those 700-plus schools have in common: an athletics organization built on a foundation of fairness and service.
The AHSAA operates based on rules and regulations formulated by its members. Any member school can propose a new rule or a rules change. The new rule gets distributed to all members and there’s a survey vote. From there, a 32-member Legislative Council – four members from each district – votes on the proposal. A two-thirds vote is required to ratify the new rule. It’s democracy – and fairness – in action.
During my career as a coach and athletic administrator in north Alabama, I witnessed numerous significant changes that were a result of rule proposals that were designed to support the needs, interests and safety of student-athletes across the state. I am proud of the consistent effort of the AHSAA to be responsive to concerns and suggestions of the many men and women who strive to make high school athletics a meaningful experience for student-athletes.
At Randolph School, an independent school in Huntsville, we have a proud tradition of academic and athletic excellence as well as a strong commitment to community involvement. In order to help prepare our students for their future in an uncertain world, our faculty, coaches and administrators encourage our student-athletes to be their best in the classroom, on the athletic fields, in their dealings with their peers and in the broader world beyond our campus.
In athletics, as in academics, Randolph coaches work to make sure our students are prepared for tough competition because facing and overcoming challenges strengthens their resolve to do their best – no matter what. We value the opportunity to compete against strong competition throughout the state through the AHSAA. We also find in the AHSAA like-minded institutions led by executives and officials with uncompromising integrity.
Our athletics programs at Randolph School are outstanding, and an important part of our mission to instruct the entire student – mentally, physically and emotionally. We are very proud of our winning programs, but in striving to win we make sure we teach our students that sportsmanship and honest effort are as important as what shows on the scoreboard.
As a former coach and athletic administrator, I am grateful for the integrity, dedication and hard work that the AHSAA provides outstanding athletic experiences for student-athletes and coaches across the state.
Goshen a proud AHSAA small-school competitor
With the AHSAA’s guidance and adherence to policies created for everyone, small schools such as Goshen High School can be confident that the competition is fair for all. In a community of less than 300 in the town limits, Goshen’s ability to stand toe-to-toe with our rivals is a matter of pride. And pride is very important in small-town Alabama.
Our student-athletes don’t rely on finding success with a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality, though. We strive to teach them to stand tall in the face of adversity, knowing that adversity can produce great character and fortitude that can last for a lifetime. Learning to pull together as part of a team is perhaps the best way to prepare our student-athletes for life after high school.
The governing structure of the AHSAA – the Central Board of Control – is comprised of one member from each of the eight districts in the state, plus four minority members from four bi-districts, two female at-large members and one member from the Alabama Department of Education. Thus, every school has a “local” voice in the room when executive decisions are made. Goshen’s voice matters just as much as that of the voice from the largest high school in Alabama. The AHSAA staff that works on day-to-day issues is also highly responsive. The administrators in Montgomery have hands-on experience in school classrooms and always keep the students in their minds in their decision-making.
In short, private schools like Randolph School and public schools like Goshen High share a bond much like those forged on the field of play. Policies and procedures made by AHSAA members for AHSAA members keep a competitive balance in place so that our students have their best chance for success on a level playing field.
Contact: Dan Schuster
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (December 19, 2017) — The most popular online education course on the NFHS Learning Center – “Concussion in Sports” – is now available in Spanish at www.NFHSLearn.com. The NFHS also has released “Officiating Wrestling,” which is the seventh sport-specific officiating course available through the NFHS Learning Center.
The NFHS partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010 to offer “Concussion in Sports.” The free course has since been taken more than 3.5 million times, and with the help of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, is now available in Spanish. This is the first course offered by the NFHS Learning Center in a language other than English.
“We are pleased to offer our very first course in Spanish, as well as continuing to provide additional opportunities for individuals to become involved in professional development,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services.
The goal of “Concussion in Sports” is to educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. The course includes each state’s concussion management requirements, in addition to highlighting the impact of sports-related concussion on athletes. Those who take the course will learn how to recognize a suspected concussion, as well as protocols to manage suspected concussions and the steps used to help players safely return to play.
“Officiating Wrestling” emphasizes the value of a referee’s judgment. To make the correct call, a referee must possess the proper knowledge of wrestling rules and their implementation. “Officiating Wrestling” is designed to help wrestling officials not only understand the rules, but how to properly apply them when in action.
“Professional development is critically important, and we are pleased to add another course for officials to the NFHS Learning Center,” Schuster said. “’Officiating Wrestling’ is a great course for new wrestling officials; however, it also provides great reminders of fundamentals for veteran officials.”
“Officiating Wrestling,” which is also now available through the NFHS Learning Center, costs $20. All members of the NFHS Officials Association are eligible for a $10 discount by entering an NFHS Officials Association registered email at checkout.
After starting with two courses in 2007 through the NFHS Coach Education Program, the NFHS Learning Center now offers 58 online courses – including more than 26 of which are free – and has expanded its reach to contest officials, students, administrators and music adjudicators. Since the launch of www.NFHSLearn.com in 2007, the NFHS has delivered more than six million courses.
This press release was written by Cody Porter, a graphic arts/communications assistant in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department.