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.”
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.”