A Principal’s Best Friend – A Great Athletic Director

Throughout our 102 years of existence, the CIF Southern Section has always been referred to as an organization of high school principals. We still hold to that concept today, but the reality of the present high school environment is the high school principal’s job has changed dramatically and there is no question that a principal’s ability to lead their high school athletic department requires a strong, capable and dynamic athletic director.

I just returned from the 47th Annual California State Athletic Directors Conference that took place last weekend. This organization, known as CSADA, has taken a leading role in trying to provide training, guidance and mentoring for athletic directors. We have tried to do the same.

There are countless clinics put on for high school coaches in every sport imaginable. At those clinics, experts in the various sports impart their knowledge and wisdom to their peers, including the best practices that they apply to their programs. However, there are very few, if

any, comparable experiences like the CSADA Conference for athletic directors.
As part of the CSADA conference, we host an information session for our Southern Section athletic directors called

Coffee with the Commissioner. This year, there were over 150 of our athletic directors there, which was the largest number I have ever seen in my 15 years of attending this conference, but our own section, with 576 member high schools, has many, many more athletic directors than that. We need more of you there!

Therefore, in an effort to help and support our athletic directors in pursuit of professional development and personal growth, I offer the following game plan for the 2015-2016 school year and invite all athletic directors to take advantage of the following opportunities.

  • August, 2015 – CIF-SS Fall Eligibility Workshops (Dates, times and locations are now posted on our website – Cost = Free)
  • Wednesday, September 9, 2015 or Wednesday, September 16, 2015 – New Principal/Athletic
    Director Workshops (Specifically designed for new principals/athletic administrators/athletic directors. Location is the CIF- SS Office – Cost = Free)
  • Monday, October 19, 2015 – CIF-SS Athletic Administrator Summit – Sheraton Hotel and
    Conference Center, Pomona (A one-day conference designed to give athletic administrators practical and useful tools for their athletic programs – Cost = $50 per person, includes breakfast and lunch. Signups will be available on our website beginning Monday, August 3, 2015)
  • April 14-17, 2016 – CSADA Conference – Town and Country Hotel, San Diego (See the CSADA website, www.csada.org for information on next year’s conference.)

My predecessor as Commissioner of Athletics for the CIF Southern Section, Dr. Jim Staunton, was a former high school principal. It was Jim who often said these words during his tenure in our office, “The principal’s best friend is a great athletic director.” It is my sincere hope that all of our athletic directors do everything they can to make that happen in the time ahead. Thank you very much for your help and support, it is truly appreciated.

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