The Phoenix (Arizona) Convention Center is slated to host more than 2,000 athletic administrators, spouses, guests and exhibitors who will converge on the “Valley of the Sun” December 8-12 for the 48th annual National Athletic Directors Conference (NADC).
The country’s largest meeting of high school athletic directors is co-sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) of Indianapolis.
The first-ever NADC in Phoenix begins Friday, December 8, with several NIAAA committee meetings. The full conference begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 9, with registration in the lower-level Exhibit Hall. The Opening General Session begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
John Croyle, the founder of Big Oak Ranch, Inc., serves as the opening session’s keynote speaker. Croyle is a highly regarded professional speaker, and a former all-American football player under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama.
The Closing General Session at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12, features keynote speaker Anthony Robles. Robles, a former member of the Arizona State University wrestling team, captured the 2011 NCAA individual wrestling championship in the 125-pound weight class despite being born with only one leg. His college wrestling career concluded with more than 100 victories and being recognized as a three-time all-American. Robles also was the recipient of the Jimmy V Award of Perseverance at the ESPYs in 2011.
Workshop sessions for this year’s NADC get underway at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 10. Key topics for the 40 workshops include citizenship, hazing/bullying, multi-sport participation, issues with parents, social media, transgender policies, Title IX compliance and safety for afterschool activities.
In addition to networking opportunities, NIAAA Leadership Training Institute (LTI) courses will provide professional development opportunities for attendees. The first session of LTI classes begins at 10:30 a.m. on December 9, and the final session takes place at 11 a.m. on December 11.
Eight athletic directors will be recognized with NFHS Citations for their contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. The Citation recipients will receive their awards Monday, December 11, during the Conference Luncheon.
NFHS Citation recipients include Marc Haught,CMAA, executive director, Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association; Michael Krueger, CMAA, district athletic director, Aurora (Colorado) Public Schools; Wendy Malich, CAA, district athletic director, Franklin Pierce School District, Tacoma, Washington; Jon Payne, CMAA, assistant principal/director of athletics, Reading (Ohio) High School; Colin Roy, CAA, athletic director, Hall-Dale High School, Farmingdale, Maine; Jamie Sheetz, CMAA, athletic director, Park City (Utah) High School; Jeffrey Sitz, CMAA, director of athletics, Lutheran High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Myles Wilson, CAA, district athletic administrator for athletic facilities and operations, Spartanburg (South Carolina) School District.
The NIAAA will present its Distinguished Service Awards to 11 athletic administrators during the Conference Banquet on December 12. This year’s winners include Steve Bridge, CMAA, former athletic director, Elma (Washington) School District; Andy Chiles, CMAA, athletic director, Lake Nona High School, Orlando, Florida; Brent Cook, CMAA, assistant principal for activities/athletics, Dubuque (Iowa) Senior High School; Lane Green, CMAA, district director of athletics and activities, Blue Valley School District, Overland Park, Kansas; Lawrence Johnson, CAA, retired athletic director, Alamogordo (New Mexico) High School; Everett Kelepolo, CMAA, principal, Springville (Utah) High School; Mike McGurk, CMAA, activities director/assistant principal, Lee’s Summit (Missouri) North High School; D. Scott Morris, CAA, director of student activities, Fluvanna County High School, Palmyra, Virginia; Paul Pendleton, assistant principal, Tennessee High School, Bristol, Tennessee; Trish Witkin, director of athletics, Glastonbury (Connecticut) High School; and Steve Young, director of athletics, New Rochelle (New York) City School District.
Other athletic directors who will receive NIAAA awards during Tuesday’s banquet are Darryl Nance, CMAA, athletic administrator, Greenville (South Carolina) County Schools, Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award; Rick Johnson, CAA, retired athletic administrator, Peoria Unified School District, Glendale, Arizona, Thomas E. Frederick Award of Excellence; and Lee Green, J.D., attorney and professor emeritus, Baker University, Overland Park, Kansas, Award of Merit.
The banquet and conference conclude with the induction of six athletic directors into the NIAAA Hall of Fame. Those being recognized this year include Ron Belinko, CMAA, retired athletic administrator, Baltimore County (Maryland) Public Schools; John Evers, CMAA, retired director of athletics, Newburgh (Indiana) Castle High School; Sandy Hadaway, CMAA, retired athletic administrator, Salem (Virginia) High School; Marc Hunter, CMAA, retired director of athletics, Jordan High School, Sandy, Utah, and current executive director of the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association; Larry Munksgaard, CAA, retired athletic director, Lincoln (Nebraska) Southeast High School; and John Van Fleet, retired athletic administrator, Morris, Illinois.