Chickering to retire as WIAA executive director
Douglas Chickering has announced his retirement after more than 23 years as executive director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The retirement is effective on July 31, 2009, ending Chickering’s 45 years in the education profession.
Chickering has been the WIAA’s executive director since 1986 and is only the fourth person to hold that position in the organization’s 113-year history. He was preceded by P.F. Neverman, Clifford Fagan and John E. Roberts, who served 29 years before the appointment of Chickering.
“Mr. Chickering leaves a tremendous legacy on education and interscholastic athletics in Wisconsin and the nation,” said Kevin Knudson, president of the WIAA Board of Control. “The impact he has had on the lives of many students, athletes and school administrators is immeasurable.
“The leadership he has provided over his distinguished career has been guided by his integrity, principles and concern for others,”?Knudson said. “The WIAA and all those associated with sports in Wisconsin owe him a great deal of gratitude for his lifelong service to education and interscholastic athletics.”
Chickering’s nearly 24 years as executive director have led the WIAA to unprecedented areas. Most notable have been the addition of private schools into the association in 2000, the expansion of tournament opportunities in all sports for boys and girls, the addition of non-public and ethnic minority representation on the Board of Control and Advisory Council, and the hiring of the current executive staff.
During that time, state tournaments have been placed in the finest facilities throughout the state. Meanwhile, Chickerng was instrumental in the planning and construction of the new WIAA?headquarters in Stevens Point and the guidance that has led to enhancing exposure of high schools sports through various media levels.
“The 23 years have passed so quickly that it is difficult to offer an adequate and concise statement that reflects this moment’s emotions,”?Chickering said. “The people I’ve met and worked with bring the most memories.
“High school sports is special in Wisconsin, and so many from so many walks of life contribute daily to that standing,” he said. “I’m privileged to have had a leadership opportunity.”
Along with his contributions in Wisconsin, Chickering has had an impact on interscholastic athletics at the national level. He is completed his second term on the National Federation of State High School Associations board in 2008. He served in a similar capacity from 1990-93, completing that term as president of the organization in 1992-93.
Chickering was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association in 2003. This past summer, he was the recipient of a NFHS?citation in recognition for his distinguished record of involvement and impact as a member of the Federation Foundation’s Board of Directors.
He was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002. He will receive the 2009 Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award presented by the WFCA in March.
Before becoming executive director, Chickering served on the WIAA Board of Control from 1979-1985. He began his career in education as a teacher-coach at Gilman High School in 1963. He was named principal and athletic director in 1967, and then district administrator in 1969. In 1974, he was named the district administrator of Marathon schools.
“For 45 years, there’s never been a morning when I haven’t looked forward to going to work,” Chickering said. “No two days have been the same. From my days as a teacher to my last days as an executive director, high school sports have been a big part of my life.
“That will not change. The truth is, I’m looking forward to being just a fan.”
Chickering is a 1959 graduate of Hawkins High School. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and physical sciences from UW-Eau Claire in 1963. He received a master’s degree in school administration from UW-Superior in 1971.
The WIAA Board of Control expects to name Chickering’s successor before March 1, 2009.