Preps Talk

IHSA appoints new Executive Director

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IHSA appoints new Executive Director

The Illinois High School Association has been around for more than a century. And on Tuesday, the Board of Directors named Craig Anderson their seventh Executive Director in IHSA’s 114–year history.

Anderson, who will step into the position following current Executive Director, Marty Hickman’s retirement in January 2016, said he is both humbled and proud to take on this new challenge.

“Dating back to my time as a teacher, coach and administrator, I have always had an affinity for the IHSA and its mission. I said in 2010 that working for the IHSA was a dream job. To ascend to the Executive Director role is beyond words,” said Anderson in an IHSA press release.  

From 2005-2010, Anderson was the Athletic Director at Washington High School in Washington, Ill., during which he took charge of all facets of the athletic department as well as hiring all coaches. Prior to that, he spent four years at Olympia, where he taught math and was head football coach for two seasons and Activities Director from 2002-2005.  A quick fun fact: he started his career as a math teacher at Morton, where he also coached football, basketball and track.

Similarly, Anderson brings more to the table than just a rule book. While he attended Cambridge High School (graduating class of '87), Anderson was a three-sport athlete while participating in music, band and drama. He understands the needs of high school athletes and what it takes to strive in the changing future of their world.

Wauconda Principal and IHSA Board President, Dan Klett, chaired the search committee for the next in-charge and offered, “He is an innovator with a great understanding of the IHSA’s mission, rules and procedures. His passion for this organization and belief in the power that extracurricular programs have on our young people will serve him well in this role.”

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In addition to overseeing the IHSA Officials Department, Anderson currently serves as the IHSA Administrator for football, wrestling and baseball. Since joining the IHSA, Anderson has also worked with the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and Football Advisory Committee to implement a new fall practice acclimatization schedule, and a new rule that will eliminate full-contact hitting in the summer, as well as limiting practice hitting limitations during the regular season.

The IHSA board will vote on the limited contact recommendation next week.

Anderson’s transition from Assistant Executive Director to Executive will officially take place on Monday Jan. 18,  2016.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the talented team of individuals here at the IHSA as well as the dedicated administrators and coaches at our member schools," he said. "There is a great tradition to uphold at the IHSA, while also preparing to face new challenges ahead.” 

 

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Waubonsie Valley

Head coach: Paul Murphy

Assistant coaches: Ron Griffin, Tom Baumgarnter, Chris Genslinger, Brad Caldwell, Josh Cuttone, Noel Soto, Ryan Voitik, Duane Butts and Ken Anderson

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Waubonsie Valley failed to qualify for the IHSA playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Oak Park-River Forest

Aug. 31 vs Libertyville

Sept 7 @ Neuqua Valley

Sept. 14 @ Edwardsville

Sept. 21 vs Naperville North

Sept. 28 vs Neuqua Valley

Oct. 5 vs Prairie Ridge

Oct. 12 @ Naperville Central

Oct. 19 @ Metea Valley

[MORE: 96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs]

Biggest storyline: It's all about the schedule. Can the Warriors survive a challenging lineup --which includes playing Neuqua Valley twice-- and make the playoffs?

Names to watch this season: WR Julian Cain and DL Avante Rogers

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will have several new faces on both the offensive and defensive lines in 2018. 

EDGY's Early Take: It's not often that veteran head coach Paul Murphy and his Warriors view the playoffs from home. But that's what happened last year. They were the first Waubonsie team since 2006 to do just that. Look for the Warriors to rely on a strong group of receivers to bounce back this fall. They also feature a good group of underclassmen ready to step up. Also, they will need to get used to life in the newly-realigned DuPage Valley Conference. The 2018 schedule includes two games against big district rival Neuqua Valley and a loaded non-conference slate which includes some heavy hitters. 

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time.