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NIAAA History

History

Prior to the formation of the NIAAA, attempts were made by athletic administrators to organize a national association:

  • 1962 – Unsuccessful inquiry through the National Education Association
  • 1969 – Creation of the National Council of Secondary School Athletic Directors (NCSSAD) at the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (AAHPER) national convention
  • 1971
    • First NFHS National Conference for High School Directors of Athletics
    • Appointed NCSSAD leadership roles
  • February 1976 – Formal discussion at the NFHS Athletic Directors Advisory Committee about forming a national association
  • December 1976
    • Formal request at the San Diego national conference for NFHS assistance in forming a national association of high school athletic administrators
    • The NFHS Executive Committee approved formation of a national athletic administrators association and made funds available to begin

Formation of the NIAAA:

  • 1977 – Organizational meeting held and the Constitution Committee formed with NFHS Assistant Director Tom Frederick serving as liaison
  • December 1977 – First Annual Meeting held at the national conference
    • Approval of Constitution Committee recommendations:
      • Established the name as the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association name
      • Designated the annual national conference as the official time and place for the NIAAA’s Annual Meeting
      • Designated the Interscholastic Athletic Administration (IAA) quarterly magazine as the official publication of the NIAAA
      • Adopted the official NIAAA colors and logo
      • Drafted the tentative Constitution and By-Laws
      • Selected a slate of candidates for the first election
      • Solicited NIAAA membership by mailing membership invitation brochures to every high school athletic director in the country
      • Designed the first-year operational plan
    • Officers elected
    • Formation of the NIAAA Awards and Publications Committees
    • Dues were set at $15/member
  • 1978 – First-year membership: 952 charter members
  • 1979
    • Moved headquarters from Elgin, Illinois, to Kansas City, Missouri
    • First Board of Directors with representatives appointed by 8 sections
  • 1980 – Adopted the Delegate Assembly legislative body
  • 1982 – Became a 501(c)(3) organization
  • 1985 – Creation of the NIAAA Policies, Operations and Procedures Manual
  • 1988
    • Creation of the Certification Program
    • Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) exam administered for the first time
  • 1989 – Frank Kovaleski, CAA, succeeded Frederick as liaison to the NIAAA
  • 1995 – The NIAAA joined the National Certification Commission
  • 1996 – Initial course offered by the Leadership Training Program (now Leadership Training Institute)
  • 1999 – Creation of the Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA) and Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) certifications
  • 2000 – Moved headquarters from Kansas City, Missouri, to Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2001 – The NIAAA fully registered by the National Certification Commission, solidifying the program with regard to national recognition and acceptance
  • 2002 – 25th anniversary
  • 2003 – Kovaleski became the first national director and employee of the NIAAA
  • 2005
    • Kovaleski retired and Bruce Whitehead, CMAA, became the first Executive Director
    • Mike Blackburn, CMAA, became the first Associate Executive Director
    • The NIAAA assumed responsibility for all of its organizational business and developed its first $1 million budget
    • Creation of dual state membership
    • Leadership Training courses taught overseas for the first time
    • Conference Advisory Committee shared by the NIAAA and NFHS replaced the former AD Advisory Committee
    • Board Secretary position became an elected position by the NIAAA Delegate Assembly
    • Creation of the Professional Outreach Program
  • 2007
    • NIAAA offices established at 9100 Keystone Crossing, Suite 650, in Indianapolis
    • The NIAAA returned the provided $5,000 to the NFHS Foundation as a gift for the association’s original formation funds
    • Creation of the Student Scholarship Program
  • 2009 – Creation of the NIAAA Hall of Fame
  • 2011 – The NIAAA accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement), becoming the first association in the world to be accredited
  • 2012 – Creation of the Registered Middle School Athletic Administrator (RMSAA) certification
  • 2016
    • Membership grew to 10,000
    • Whitehead retired and Dr. Mike Blackburn, CMAA, became Executive Director
    • Phil Rison, CMAA, became Associate Executive Director
  • 2016–2019
    • Invested in a Learning Management System to offer online Leadership Training Institute (LTI) courses
    • LTI curriculum reached 49 course offerings
    • Membership grew to over 12,000
    • Budget surpassed $2 million
    • Creation of the NIAAA U Cohort study
    • 4 international LTI courses offered
  • 2017 – 40th anniversary
  • 2018
    • All certification categories reached record numbers
    • National conference for directors of athletics reached its highest attendance
    • NIAAA staff grew to 7 full-time servant leaders
  • 2019 – Creation of the Registered International Athletic Administrator (RIAA) certification
  • 2022
    • National Athletic Directors Conference reached its highest attendance
    • NIAAA staff grew to 9 full-time servant leaders
    • LTI curriculum reached 56 course offerings
  • 2023
    • Membership grew to 14,000
    • 36 state associations are dual members
    • 15 states boasted 100% membership or higher
    • 43 states received membership commendations
    • Creation of 900 Level international courses

Throughout the history of the NIAAA, grassroot efforts and volunteerism have shown the way in growth as well as providing what the athletic administrator professional needs. The model includes leadership, ownership in the NIAAA’s mission, contributions to the daily growth of the professional and a desire to improve, excel and give back.

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