David Jackson, executive director of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA), is the new president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for 2018-19. Jackson, the 59th president of the NFHS, began his one-year term July 3 following the NFHS Summer Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High School Association (MHSA), was elected by the NFHS Board of Directors to the position of president-elect for the upcoming year.
In addition, the following individuals were approved by the NFHS National Council for four-year terms on the NFHS Board of Directors: Steve Savarese, executive director, Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), Section 3; Rob Cuff, executive director, Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA), Section 7; and Kalvin Robinson, associate superintendentof Madison County Schools in Ridgeland, Mississippi,at large, Sections 3 and 7.
Two other individuals were appointed to the Board to serve unexpired terms. Bill Gaine, executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), will serve a one-year term representing Section 1, replacing Karissa Niehoff of Connecticut, who resigned from the Board of Directors to become NFHS executive director. Bobby Cox, commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), will serve a two-year term representing Section 4, replacing Jack Roberts of Michigan, who is retiring this summer as executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Jackson was appointed executive director of the OSSAA in October 2016 after serving as interim executive director for two months. He is the eighth – and first African-American – full-time executive director of the OSSAA, and he is the fifth current African-American to head a state high school association.
Jackson, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, had served on the OSSAA administrative staff for 20 years before becoming executive director – seven years as associate executive director and 13 years as assistant executive secretary. Before he joined the OSSAA, Jackson served 11 years at Pauls Valley (Oklahoma) High School, first as a math teacher and coach, and then as principal for five years. Jackson coached football, basketball, and track and field for six years at Pauls Valley.
Jackson also has been involved with high school activity programs at the national level through service on NFHS committees. He is a past member of the NFHS Track and Field Rules Committee, NFHS Football Rules Committee, the original NFHS Strategic Planning Committee and the NFHS Coaches Education Committee.
Beckman was named executive director of the MHSA in 2004 after seven years as MHSA assistant director and many years as a high school administrator, instructor, coach and official.
Beckman’s association with educational administration dates to 1983, when he served as chairman of the Butte (Montana) School Board for 2½ years. He was a basketball official and a member of the Montana Officials Association for several years, and he coached boys and girls basketball at Butte Central High School and Anaconda (Montana) High School. He also coached Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball in Butte and Anaconda.
Following his coaching and officiating tenures, Beckman was a member of the MHSA Basketball Rules Committee and was athletic director at Butte Central. Prior to joining the MHSA office, Beckman was a teacher and activities director at Anaconda High School.
Beckman was chair of the Programs Subcommittee for the 2011-2016 Strategic Planning Committee and recently completed terms on the NFHS Network Board of Directors and the NFHS Appeal Board.
Savarese became executive director of the AHSAA in July 2007, after serving as a coach and athletic director at several Alabama schools. He is the fourth full-time AHSAA executive director.
Now in in his 12th year as executive director, Savarese has emphasized health, safety and sportsmanship, and he developed – through the AHSAA Central Board – a revenue-sharing program that has returned almost $14 million to member schools since its implementation in 2010. Savarese has served on numerous NFHS committees and is currently the chair of the NFHS Network Board of Directors.
Savarese began his career as head football coach of Douglass (Kansas) High School before moving to Alabama. He later became head coach and athletic director of Birmingham Ensley (three years), Alexander City Benjamin Russell (12 years), Daphne (seven years) and McGill-Toolen (three years). Savarese was selected as an NFL High School Coach of the Year finalist in 1996-97.
Cuff has been executive director of the UHSAA since August 2009 after serving as assistant director of the association for eight years.
During his time as assistant director, Cuff was director of baseball, basketball, drill team, football, music, soccer, softball and volleyball. He also directed the UHSAA’s coaches education program.
Before joining the UHSAA, Cuff coached basketball at Orem (Utah) Mountain View High School for 12 years – seven as head coach – earning the title as winningest coach in Mountain View boys basketball history and leading the teams to two state championships. He is a former president of the Utah High School Basketball Coaches Association. He also was a English teacher and athletic administrator at Mountain View.
Cuff recently completed an eight-year stint on the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee, including the past four years as chair. He also was a member of the NFHS Appeals Board and is a former member of the Football Rules Committee, serving as chair of the Games Administration Committee from 2008 to 2012. Previously, he was a member of the NFHS National Records Committee and two NFHS Strategic Planning Committees.
Cuff, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his master’s from the University of Phoenix, was a high school football official for 12 years and officiated three state championship games.
Robinson joined Madison County Schools as associate superintendent in August 2014 after serving as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal at numerous Mississippi schools.
He began his career in education as a teacher and coach in 1996 at Jim Hill High School in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2000, Robinson moved to Clinton Public Schools as a teach, coach and assistant athletic director, and in 2003, he became assistant principal of Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, Mississippi, a position he held until 2014.
At the state level, Robinson currently serves on the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Executive Committee and is a former president of the MHSAA.
Robinson is a member of both the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Mississippi Association of Secondary School Principals, as well as the Mississippi Association of Coaches. He is also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association.
Robinson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alcorn State University, and a specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from Jackson State University.
Gaine was named executive director of the MIAA in June 2013 after nearly 20 years as the association’s deputy executive director. He joined the MIAA in 1979 as assistant executive director and, during that time, administered most MIAA sports, and oversaw student eligibility and student-athlete health and safety.
Gaine also was the architect and catalyst for the development of the MIAA’s student services program, which includes sportsmanship, wellness, leadership, community service and coach education. Prior to joining the MIAA, Gaine was a teacher, counselor, coach and athletic director at St. Patrick’s High School in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Cathedral High School in Boston.
At the national level, Gaine was chair of the NFHS Citizenship Committee from 2001 to 2005, and he is a current member of the NFHS Student Services Committee. Gaine was the first chair of the NFHS TARGET Committee, which helped students deal with drug and alcohol use, and he was a member of the NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee. In 2012, Gaine received the NFHS Citation.
Cox began his role as the eighth commissioner of the IHSAA in 2011 after serving as assistant commissioner since 2000, administering the sports of football, boys golf, boys and girls track and field, and wrestling.
Prior to joining the IHSAA, Cox spent 21 years as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator in the Carmel (Indiana) Clay School District. He served as athletics and activities director at Clay Junior High from 1990 to 1997, and as the athletic director at Carmel High School from 1997 to 2000. At Carmel High School, his responsibilities included management of 54 athletic teams and 97 coaches who annually served more than 1,100 student-athletes. During his tenure as Carmel High School athletic director, he served as the host administrator for numerous IHSAA tournament events, including the cross country and softball state finals.
Previously, Cox was a member of the NFHS Football Rules Committee, serving as the chair of the Research Subcommittee from 2008 to 2011. Additionally, Cox served as a member of the NFHS Coaches Education Committee from 2002 to 2006 and as an advisor to the Commission on Sports Medicine of the Indiana State Medical Association for 11 years. Most recently, Cox concluded a year as chair of the NFHS Foundation Board of Directors and one year as the chair of the NFHS National Events and Championships Task Force.
He is a member of the IHSAA Foundation Board of Directors, Indiana Sports Corporation Board of Directors and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors.