Today we honor the 100th year anniversary of PIAA and its culminating championship. We have honored the past, celebrated the present and looked to the future.
On behalf of our membership; 1440 member schools and almost 14,000 registered sports’ officials that administrate athletic programs for 350,000 student-athletes, we thank you for your support. Educational based athletics are an extension of the classroom and the focus of what we do and who we are every single day.
In 1913, a group of principals got together in Pittsburgh and decided it was time to organize and direct an athletic program that would promote, protect and conserve the values of interscholastic education and highlight the high ideals of good sportsmanship. PIAA was born that day of December 29th, 1913 and we haven't looked back.
Much like the National Federation of State High School Associations, there have been states and others that may have been established earlier, but the goal of PIAA was one; to be a comprehensive association working together for its membership and to provide interscholastic educational opportunities for young people.
That mission takes thousands of people and you will note there are many individuals we are indebted to and we offer our sincere thank you to all of them. However, please allow me a moment to highlight some people that are vital to our existence.
We have employees in three district offices and we thank each and every one of them for their efforts and support not only of their district but PIAA as a whole. We believe we have best staff in the country and the 12 people that do the heavy lifting to insure championships (which historically are our report cards) are first class, interpretations of rules and regulations are correct and BOD policies are followed.
These people have served a tremendous amount of years to this association. We thank you. Also, Beverly Owens- Gaither, Linda Rudisill and Doris Hobbs Mercier, are three recently retired administrative assistants who worked over 100 years collectively for PIAA.
Please indulge me for a moment to recognize our legal and legislative team that do so much behind the scenes work that have taught us how to walk on water. Please recognize Alan Boynton, and his team at MWN; Mike Solomon our Director of Legal Affairs; John Milliron and Andy Goodman of Milliron Goodman Associates. All of us are indebted to you. Oh yeah… how do you walk on water? You have to know where the stones are!
Please allow me a moment to thank our 100th year committee of Frank Hoke, Jason Jesberger, Jeff Bertoni, Kim Hubler, Mike Hawkins, Dinny Kinloch and Joel Bechtel for making the 100th anniversary truly a labor of love. We could not have done it without you. We sincerely Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present and Look to the Future.
Also, please recognize some past Presidents of PIAA. Stan Bem, Wally Blucas and Rod Stone all have served nobly in this position. Thank you gentlemen for your leadership and support. We also thank the 6th Executive Director of our association, Bradley R. Cashman. All of you have helped pave the way and establish our blueprint for success.
Marc Blucas and Bob Gardner; thank you for sharing with all of us why it is important in what we do. We take what we do seriously, but we do not take ourselves too seriously. This philosophy indicates a humbleness and caring that epitomizes the messages that you have delivered. We all thank you for your dedication, your message and your beliefs that interscholastic athletics can pave a lifetime of achievement based upon the educational values of participation. With those ideals in place, we all win. Without them, it is nothing but exercise. Thank you both so very, very much.
Thank you all for being part. You are the heart and soul of what we do every contest, every event and every day.
Interscholastic athletics: 100 years young and providing opportunities for young people each and every day.