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Louis Acevedo discusses his long association with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the Chicago Public League through his experiences as a high school athlete and a high school coach (soccer, basketball, and football) over a 33 year career. Louis talks about his own football career in the Chicago Public League as well as coaching football at two public league schools (Clemente and Marie Currie High Schools). He talks about the rich history of Chicago Public League football and the many players who went on to play Division I football and in the National Football League. He addresses the many challenges faced by the Chicago Public League programs, including budget issues, locating coaches, assistants and officials, stadium assignments, and fall teacher strikes.
Coach Pete Alber discusses his experiences as the Dakota High School wresting coach and his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). He shares his memories from his own high school experiences as well as being a state winning wrestling coach at Dakota High School. The school‘s wrestling team has had great success over the years, winning five state titles and coming in third twice, especially from 2004-2007 and 2013-2016. Coach Alber discusses team scoring, for individual matches, and the basic rules for the sport which began as an IHSA activity in 1936.
Roger Amm discusses his thirty-three years as the choral director at Ottawa Township High School (OTHS), and his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) in its annual musucal competitions. He first began his experiences with IHSA music contests while he was a student at Pontiac Township High School, and then had decades of experience as the Choir Director at Ottawa Township, winning eighteen Division Sweepstakes while he directing the school's choir.
Barb Barrows discusses her involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) through her experiences as a high school athlete, a high school coach (soccer, track, and softball), an IHSA gymnastics and badminton sports advisory member, and an athletic director at the newly created Neuqua Valley High School for over 20 years. Barrows details the challenges facing an athletic director moving into a brand new suburban high school with only freshmen and sophomores enrolled. She had to determine which sports should be offered, hire coaches, develop a budget, create team schedules, select uniforms, and organize parent/booster support groups. The high school program has now grown to over 28 sport teams. During her tenure the school's teams have earned 10 state championships and 178 team championships. The school's stadium was renamed after Barrows in honor of her dedication to Neuqua athletics.
Taylor Bell discusses his involvement with Illinois high school sports while working at newspapers in Champaign-Urbana, St. Louis, and the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times. Taylor highlights his efforts to promote high school sports via individual features, investigative reporting, detailed box scores, and having reporters attend more games. In addition, Taylor is the author of four books covering Illinois High School football and basketball through its greatest games, coaches, players, and schools.
Coach Kevin Benages discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) from the perspective of his own high school experiences, and especially as a coach at Naperville North High School, including for cross country, basketball, football, and lacrosse. Benages discusses the growth of lacrosse as a high school sport in Illinois, and how in 2018 it will have its first IHSA state championship. He reveals how Lacrosse made yearly steps from 2008 to 2018, advancing lacrosse as an approved sport.
Greg Bradley discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) as an athlete, high school coach, high school principal, member of the Illinois High School Association Board of Directors and the longtime treasurer for the IHSA. He discusses the treasurer's duties and discusses the organization's finances. He also looks at the challenges faced by high school principals in managing athletics programs and other activities. Finally, Bradley talks about some of the many contentious issues that the IHSA has dealt with during his tenure as its treasurer.
Jim Corsi is a Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame coach who led the Gibault Catholic High School boys soccer team to the Illinois state finals seven times, winning three state championships. He also coached the school's girls soccer team, which placed second in the state in 2009. Corsi discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) during his twenty years at Waterloo Gibault. He also reviews his own participation in high school sports and his stint as a coach for an Army club soccer team in Germany while he served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Calvin Davis discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) as a high school athlete and especially in his role as a Director of Athletics for the Chicago Public Schools. Davis also discusses his current role as Director of Athletics and Activities for a west suburban public high school, and his book, "Intercity Hoops," which looks at the history of Chicago Public League Basketball and some of its greatest players and teams.
Bruce Firchau discusses his involvement as a high school basketball coach, spanning a career that lasted over forty years and at a variety of Illinois high schools. He discusses the sport's changing offensive and defensive strategies, major rule changes, state tournament play, and other challenges, including school funding and facility limitations. Bruce also shares his insights into the Illinois Coaches Basketball Association (ICBA) and the efforts to create and build an Illinois Basketball Museum.
Sara Flanigan explains her work as a high school official and coach for competitive cheer and dance, two relatively new competitive sports in Illinois. The interview covers how cheer and dance became IHSA sports (in 2006 and 2013 respectively). Sara brought her experiences as a former high school cheerleader to her position with the Illinois High School Association, and explains the transition of cheer and later dance as competitive sports currently involving over 200 state high schools. She discusses the scoring rubrics and what the officials look for during regular and state meets.
Jim Flynn discusses his thirty-one years with the Illinois High School Association as an Assistant and Associate Director. In that role, he was at the center of much of the state's high school sports history. Jim provided leadership in the sports of basketball, baseball, softball, cross country and track, plus sports information. He discusses his involvement with the Illinois state boys basketball tournament, known throughout the state as the March Madness Experience, and also reflects on IHSA's Add a Tude campaign, the Pack the Place promotions, King of the Hill contests and much more.
Dave Fry discusses his 35 years with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) through his experiences as an Assistant, Associate, and finally as the Executive Director. He discusses the IHSA's move from Chicago to Bloomington and moving the boys' state basketball championships from Champaign to Peoria. He also addressed the complex rulings on transfers, residency, and eligibility, the number of class championships for sport, football playoffs, expansion of girls sports following Title IX, growth of non sport activities, private-public school relationships, and much more.
Dave Gannaway discusses his eleven year involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) through his experiences as an Associate Director. Topics include his experiences with the state's bass fishing tournament, the supervision of officials, football playoffs/conference realignment, wheel chair basketball, and wrestling rules and safety changes. Dave also reminisces about his many years as a high school wrestler, high school coach and high school activities director.
Coach Gaters discusses her involvement with the Chicago Public League and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) during her 40+ year career teaching and coaching girls basketball at Marshall High School in Chicago. Her teams have won 1,084 games, eight state championships, and were in the top four at the state tournament twenty times. In addition, Coach Gaters helped coach the Jr. Olympics team and was selected for the 2009 Naismith Hall of Fame, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (Knoxville, TN), and was named as one of the top 100 Influential Women of Chicago. She has been selected over seven times as Coach of the Year by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
Dr. Jim Green discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) as a high school athlete and especially on his over thirty year involvement as a team doctor at Jacksonville High School and for two area college athletic teams. He served for twenty-seven years on the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, and was involved in many of the medical and safety changes IHSA has made in its by-laws.
Linda Greene discusses her involvement as the coach of the Rockford Auburn High School Scholastic Bowl team for twenty-four years, and her work with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) during scholastic bowl competitions. She discusses the origins of state's scholastic bowl, its inclusion as an IHSA activity in 1986-87, scholastic bowl rules and SB practice/meet scheduling. Linda also discusses the scholastic bowl coaches association (IHSSBCA), the impact of technology and the Internet on the contest, and the format of matches and invitational meets at the regional, sectional, and final level. Auburn High School has earned two first place finishes, five second places, five third places, and four fourth places during her time as coach.
Dr. Marty Hickman discusses his 25 year involvement with the Illinois High School Association, beginning with his experiences as a student athlete at New Berlin High School, and culminating with his years as an assistant, associate, and finally the Executive Director of the Illinois High School Association from 2002 to 2016. Hickman discusses many of the major issues that the IHSA faced during his tenure, including expanded class championships, dealing with football conferences, adding the non-boundary multiplier and the Success factor, increasing new sports and activities, and improving sports safety.
Sue Hinrichsen discusses her involvement with the Illinois High School Association through her experiences as an Assistant Director for the Illinois High School Association. Sue served as supervisor of state events such as golf, badminton, cross country, the Scholastic Bowl, softball, tennis, gymnastics, volleyball, bowling, and the State Academic Team. She discusses how the IHSA developed rules and by-laws relating to badminton and bowling, and talks about the challenges of changing state tournament final locations, the debate over the private school multiplier, and the addition of more class champions.
Bruce Howard, an executive with the National Federation of State High Schools Associations (NFHS), discusses its relationship with the Illinois High School Association as well as the other forty-nine state organizations plus the District in Columbia. The NFHS has a significant Illinois High School Association connection, as the organization was developed in the Midwest by states including Illinois. Among the topics Howard discusses include rule adoptions for many sports, professional training of coaches and officials, and the work done by the NFHS on safety/concussion issues. The NFHS also provides publications for use by sports officials and coaches.
Ed Hoyt discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) through his own high school athletic experiences in football, track, and basketball, and in his role as athletic director for the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville. Hoyt discusses the statewide programs being offered for high school students with disabilities, which include swimming, track, basketball, bowling, and road race. He also examines the IHSA's mission to expand opportunities in sports and activities for all students.
Gail Huster discusses her work as a high school and college sports official (girls basketball), a high school coach (track and cross country), a high school athlete (tennis, track, basketball, and cross country), and a college athlete (track and cross country). She discusses the growth of girls' sports following the adoption of Title IX, and shares stories about some memorable games. She also offers insights into how to become a good official, and the experience of officiating state championship games.
Scott Johnson, the Assistant Executive Director in charge of Technology and Historical record keeping, discusses the early formation of the Illinois High School Association in 1900, with a special focus on the period from 1940-1950. Scott also discusses findings from his own research for the book "100 Years of Madness," as well as from the work by one of the IHSA founders, C.W. Whitten.
Dan Klett discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), spanning more than thirty years, from a variety of perspectives: student athlete, coach, sports official, dean of students, athletic director, and high school principal. Dan has been directly involved with the IHSA as Legislative Commission member, Regional Board member, IHSA Secretary, and a recent IHSA President.
Susie Knoblauch discusses her involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for eleven years as an assistant director for cheerleading, dance, speech, debate, drama, journalism, music, spirit and tennis. She also shares her experiences with high school sports and activities as a student, teacher and activity and athletic coach. Knoblauch has also served as a Spirit Director for the National Federation of High Schools.
Peg Kopec discussed her involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) through her experiences as a high school girls' volleyball coach, an IHSA volleyball sports advisor member, and an IHSA Sportsmanship Advisory Committee member. Coach Kopec reflects on the rise of Illinois girls' volleyball following Title IX legislation in 1972, as exemplified by her successful program at St. Francis, which won twelve state championships including four state championships in a row. Coach Kopec won 1248 games at St. Francis over a forty-two year career. She shared the motivational methods that proved so successful, and the role of the St. Francis family in continuing a winning volleyball tradition at the school.
John Lalor discussed the status of eight-man football, which has been approved as an IHSA “emerging sport.” As the coach of the Alden-Hebron High School's team, Lalor discussed how the inaugural 2018 season went for the eight-man teams. He also reviewed the impact that Hebron's 1952 State Basketball championship had on the school and the community. Hebron's 1952 Boys Basketball team was the only small school in Illinois history that won the state championship coming from the district level.
Bill Laude discusses his work as a long time high school sports official in Illinois for football, baseball and basketball. He spoke about his work for the Illinois High School Association as a clinician and rules interpreter, an IHSA state finals official, and as a conference official scheduler. Laude discussed challenges for game officials, major rules changes for football, and shared several memorable experiences during his career.
Elizabeth Levin discusses her experiences as a journalism teacher at Downers Grove North High School, and her involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) in its annual journalism competitions, coaching the school's journalism team. Liz discusses the seventeen levels of IHSA Journalistic competition, the organization of the sectional and state meets, and how the IHSA contests support overall student journalistic skills.
Brian Liska discusses his career as the band director for East Aurora High School, and his involvement with the Illinois High School Association's (IHSA) music competitions. His students take part in the IHSA's solo and ensemble music competitions, and in organizational competitions. These contests lead to music sweepstakes winners in a variety of enrollment divisions. Liska discusses the role that IHSA music contests play in the overall high school band and choir programs. He talks about the types of groups which can compete, selecting music for the contests, and judging of student performances.
Barbara Maue discusses her involvement with Illinois high school volleyball during her forty-one years as an official. Barb tells how she got into officiating, about working high school games, and reminiscences about being selected to officiate at the Illinois state championships in that sport. In addition, she covers some of the major rule changes in the sport such as rally scoring, let serve, serve and receiver patterns, and the Libero position.
Ron McGraw has had a long career in education, culminating with his position as an Assistant Executive Director at the Illinois High School Association, where he oversaw state meets and programs for track and field, cross country, swimming and diving, girls' golf, scholastic bowl and coaches education. Prior to that position, he worked as a high school coach, athletic director and later as high school principal. While at IHSA, McGraw also reviewed how technology was impacting sports, which helped with timing, placement, man power, and seeding.
Stan Mietus discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the Chicago Public League, both as a high school athlete and especially as a high school girls' and boys' soccer coach at Thomas Kelly High School. His coaching career began in the mid 1990s, and was still going strong at the time of the interview. Stan also discussed his playing days at North Central College and the documentary “In the Game,” which covered the Kelly High School girls' soccer team over a four year period.
Abigail Murphy, a student at Downers Grove North High School, discusses her experiences for three years with the Illinois High School Association's (IHSA) Journalism Contest where she competed in the categories of feature writing, newspaper design and editorial writing. Abbe also discusses the team competition for journalism, and reflects on her role as editor of the school's newspaper, the 'Omega.'
Lucas Naber discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Journalism contests for two years, competing in the field of review writing. Naber discusses the preparation he did prior to the meet, and how he organized the 90 minutes he was allowed during the state competition to complete a review. In addition, Lucas talks about his role with the 'Omega,' the school newspaper.
Joe Newton is a legendary cross country and track coach with a long and stellar career at York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois. During his tenure as coach, he developed a national reputation for excellence. His teams won twenty-eight state titles (twenty-three in a row), came in second place twelve times, third place four times, and fourth place five times. In addition, his teams won twenty National Championships and produced 300 All-State Athletes. He also developed a reputation as an inspiration speaker, and authored four books sharing his experiences and wisdom on coaching.
Dr. Jeanette Nuckolls discusses her involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) from her perspective as a high school principal, a member of the IHSA Legislative Commission, and a longtime board member of the IHSA. Jeanette examines a variety of subjects, included the governing structure of the IHSA, the non-boundary multiplier, waivers, residency and transfer rulings, classification of schools, sports medicine/safety, and the addition of state wide board members representing specific under-served groups. In addition, Dr. Nuckolls discussed enhanced student participation due to new sports and activities.
Jim O’Boye discusses his career in sports and news broadcasting from the perspective of his own company, KOST Broadcast Sales. He has worked closely with the Illinois High School Association for many years in producing and broadcasting IHSA State Championship games for basketball and football. Jim also discussed his role in promoting the high school games of the week as well as America's original March Madness, noting that the term originated in Illinois with the IHSA.
Rich Piatchek discusses his work as a long time high school athletic director and coach at Hillcrest High School and later Andrew High School, and the role that the Illinois High School Association plays in overseeing the state's high school sports scene. Rich reviews some of the major changes that have been made over the years, and also discusses his role in state championship games in baseball, basketball, and football.
Bill Pieper discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) through his work as a golf coach at Monmouth High School (now Monmouth-Roseville). He also reviews his own interest in golf and how golf grew in popularity throughout the Monmouth area.
Dr. James Quaid discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) from a variety of perspectives, including that of a student athlete, a coach, a private school principal and as a principal board member and secretary for the Illinois High School Association. He addresses the many challenges and issues that private schools face when working with the IHSA. These issues include eligibility and transfer rules, conference affiliation (often driven by football), sources of funding, coaching availability and the expansion of non-sport activities.
Tony Rainey discusses his life-long involvement with sports, including his own Phillips high school athletic experiences in football, speech, and drama, his role as a high school coach in six sports, being a high school principal, serving as an Illinois High School Association Board of Director, and officiating in track, basketball, and football. Rainey examines the challenges facing smaller private schools and reflects on future issues facing organizations such as the Illinois High School Association.
Sarah Reckmeyer discusses her lifetime of experiences as a musician and as band director at Ottawa Township High School. She reviews her own participation in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) music contests as a high school student at Mt. Morris High School, and in IHSA girls sports following the implementation of Title IX. As the band director at Ottawa High, Sarah has won twenty straight Division Music Sweepstakes (1997-2016), and has also been the recipient of multiple awards during her career.
Dr. Sally Renaud discusses her involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) as it established a journalism competition for Illinois high school students. She discusses the creation of the IHSA journalism contest that involves several categories, including photography, news writing, review writing, advertising, yearbook theme, yearbook copy, yearbook layout, newspaper design, sports writing, information graphics, broadcasting, feature writing, headline writing, editorial cartooning, editorial writing, and copy editing. Dr. Renaud talks about how the competition has evolved over the past nine years.
Spencer Rockford discusses his experiences as a student at Ottawa Township High School (OTHS), and the school's strong musical program as exemplified by its continuing success in the Illinois High School Association's (IHSA) annual music contests. The school chalked up twenty sweepstakes victories from 1997 to 2016. Spencer participated in both choir and band while at OTHS, and years later returned to the school be the school's choir director. As a student, Spencer was part of four IHSA Sweepstakes first place wins. As a choral director, he participated in three more victories.
Bob Sakamoto, the long-time sports writer for the Chicago Tribune, discusses his over 30 year career covering Chicagoland high school sports. His 'Preps Plus' feature for the Tribune and work as co-host of the weekly 'High School Extra' on CLTV helped him reach a wide audience and earned him an Emmy nomination. In addition to high school sports, Bob also covered the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Bulls. He explains his life-long passion for sports, which started with his time as a high school athlete at Lane Tech and his experiences as a bat boy for the Chicago White Sox.
Bill Schalz discusses his successful career as the swimming coach at Rosary High School (girls) and Marmion Academy (boys) in Aurora, Illinois and his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Since becoming a coach, Rosary has won swimming state titles from 2006-2010, and again from 2015-2017, while Marmion has also won a state title. Schalz talks about those state titles won and the life lessons the students have learned because of their involvement in swimming.
Tim Schweizer is a long time radio personality and sports broadcaster in Springfield and central Illinois. While his day-to-day occupation is as a public service administrator for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, he also covers and broadcasts numerous high school and college ball games throughout the year on nights and weekends. In 2015, Tim was honored by the Illinois High School Association with their Distinguished Media Service Award. His distinctive voice and sports knowledge and insights are enjoyed throughout central Illinois by thousands of listeners.
Spalding (Lanny) Slevin discusses his involvement with Illinois High School sports through his 43 years of sports broadcasting, both for WLPO radio and for the Illinois High School Association, where he broadcast a weekly 15 minute IHSA sports update which was carried on ninety-five radio stations. He also MCed the one hundredth anniversary of the IHSA track championships, as well as broadcasting state basketball finals, hosting a regular sports talk show on WLPO, plus years of announcing basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball and track events.
Dr. J.W. Smith discusses his long career in sports, starting as a student athlete in Chicago participating in both football and track, and later as a highly successful coach in Chicago for both football and track. In 1989 he became the Chicago Public Schools Football Coordinator, and in 1995 he became the district's Director of Sports Administration, retiring from that position in 2003. Dr. Smith also discussed his playing days at Northern Illinois University and long association with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).
Brad Stearns discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) during a lifetime of work as a sports official in both football and baseball. He has officiated high school football games for forty years and in baseball for thirty-eight years, including state championships in both sports. In addition, he shared his memories about his years as the IHSA Baseball State Tournament umpire-in-chief, IHSA baseball clinician, and a football assignor for the Central State 8 Conference.
Jim Taylor, the award-winning sports director for WRMJ radio in Aledo, Illinois, discusses his sports and news broadcasting career, and the impact that the Illinois High School Association has had on sports in Illinois, especially the local teams covered by WRMJ. Taylor hosts a Saturday morning sports show, often featuring local coaches, officials, and leaders in the sports community as they discuss their upcoming seasons and issues impacting the broadcast area.
Steve Tucker discusses his career covering Illinois high school sports while working at the Chicago Sun-Times from 1984 to 2011. He began his tenure at the Sun-Times as a stringer, and eventually became the paper's high school sports editor. He explains how the Sun-Times reported on Chicago-land high school sports as well as the state tournaments. In addition, Steve also talks about his role with an AAU girls' high school team, and the growth of girls basketball in Illinois after the passage of Title IX in 1972.
Dr. David Turner talks about his experiences with the Illinois High School Association during his tenure as a High School Principal at Morrison and Petersburg Porta High Schools, and as an IHSA board member from 1992 to 2004, include a three year term as its president. Dr. Turner also served as the executive director of the Illinois Principals Association. He discusses the challenges principals face in managing athletic and activity programs for their schools, and the role that the IHSA plays in issues like cooperative teams, hosting championships, sports safety and sports seasons.
Jim Woodward discusses his involvement with high school sports in Illinois through his experiences as a high school athlete, high school coach, high school administrator, and President of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) from 2005 through 2012. He played football, basketball, and track while in high school, and coached football and track for many years before moving to the IHSA. Woodward discusses many of the challenging issues that IHSA took up during his tenure, including the non-boundary multiplier, public/private school issues, residency/transfer rulings, sports medicine/safety, drug testing, and expanded opportunities for student participation through sports and activities.
Bill Wright discusses his involvement with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) through his experiences as a high school coach, a high school administrator, a member of the IHSA Legislative Commission, and an IHSA Board Member during his 36 years at Savanna Community School District #300 (now West Carroll). This discussion included the successful school wrestling program (which includes six state titles), IHSA Board issues such as residency/transfers, selection of championship sites, school boundaries, and the number of class champions. Wright also discusses the role of the Legislative Commission in the governance of the IHSA.