The inductees in the FIAAA Hall of Fame at the 41st Annual State Conference include three outstanding athletic administrators who have distinguished themselves, locally, statewide and nationally. The inductees are:
Donna Blumer, A trailblazer for all female athletic administrators in the State of Florida, Donna Blumer devoted 33 years of servant leadership to the students and coaches of Pinellas County over the course of her amazing career. The Cicero, Illinois, native traded in the cold winters for the sandy beaches of Clearwater, Florida, in 1983 and quickly made her mark as one of the state’s best coaches and administrators. Starting at Riviera Middle School, Blumer eventually became the Athletic Director at Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg where she served for 28 years. There she developed a Student Athlete Advisory Council, Athlete of the Week program, and the school’s first Letterman’s Club. At the county level, she drove policy change and improvement as an active member of the Athletic Policy and Guidebook Revisions Committee, Student Insurance Bid Committee, Athletic Budget Committee, and Community Relations Committee.
Much like her well documented success at the local level, Blumer devoted great time and energy to helping facilitate the growth of the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Serving on the organizations board of directors for 28 years (1989-2017) she became the FIAAA’s first female President in 1997-1998. She was also well known for revolutionizing the way the annual conference was structured through the organization of nearly 50 companies and hundreds of guests as Conference Exhibits Manager from 1992-2017. Most conference vendors would tell you that they came back to support the FIAAA each year because of the work that Donna put in to making it a first class event. Her work on the state level carried over into service to the FHSAA, as she served on the Athletic Directors Advisory Committee from 2010-2013 as well as the Public Liaison Advisory Committee from 1996-2015, including 16 years as the chairwoman (1999 – 2015).
A member of the NIAAA since 1989, Blumer was be asked to be a presenter on the Blue Ribbon Panel in 1996 and three years later achieved her CAA certification in 1999. Her hard work and dedication to the betterment of interscholastic athletics brought her many award recognitions over the course of her career including, being honored with the FIAAA Meritorious Service Award in 1994, the FIAAA Clarence Noe Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2001, and the FIAAA Lifetime Membership Award in 2013. She was awarded with the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 1998, the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2000, and was then honored with an NFHS Citation in 2005. Dixie Hollins High School inducted Blumer into their Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Sunshine Football Coaches Association presented her the Outstanding Athletic Administrator Award in the same year. Blumer would be inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
“In the formula for success there is no replacement for the variable of hard work. Donna epitomized what it means to be a servant leader and put others before ones self,” said FIAAA Past President Scott Drabczyk. “Her contributions to the FIAAA and our state are extraordinary, and there are few men or women as deserving of this award as she.”
Vernon Korhn, Although born in Ohio, the Tampa native has not venture far from his high school alma mater (H.B Plant High School) as Vernon Korhn would spent his entire 38-year career in education in Hillsborough County Public Schools. Getting his start as a teacher and a coach Korhn worked as a head football, swimming, and wrestling coach before making his jump into administration to Dean of Students in 1981. A graduate of the University of Tampa and University of South Florida, Korhn spent 23 years as an athletic administrator serving the communities of Leto High School (1983-1985) and Hillsborough High School (1985-1988) before moving to a storied career as the Director of Athletics for Hillsborough County Public Schools.
At the local level, Korhn would oversaw 23 high schools and 43 middle school athletic programs, managing budgets, supervising coaches, and coordinating scheduling and eligibility. He hosted and operated FHSAA State Finals events in baseball, cross country, soccer, softball and tennis. Korhn served as the President of the National Football Foundation from 1995-1996, and still currently serves on their board of directors. As a result of his years of dedication to the student-athletes and coaches of the Tampa region, the Hillsborough County Public Schools Outstanding Athletic Program Award is been named in his honor. He was recognized with the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Leadership Award in 2003, and three years later was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
At the state level Korhn would serve on the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Board of Directors for 17 years, and was elected to a term as the President of the organization in 1996-1997. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Award in 1991 as well as the Clarence Noe Outstanding Athletic Administrator of the Year in 1994. Korhn would work as a part of the NIAAA Florida Host Committee three times, aiding in the planning of the national convention in Orlando (1983, 1991, & 1996). “Mr. Korhn served our young people for over 40 years,” notes Earl Garcia (Head Football Coach – Hillsborough High School). “He has lived his life for the betterment of others.”
Jay Rader, A Lake Worth native and proud graduate of the University of Florida, Jay Rader never ventured far from his Gator roots during his 38 year career in public education. Serving as an athletic administrator for 23 years, 21 of which were for the Gators of Palm Beach Gardens High School, Rader dedicated his life to the student-athletes and athletic directors of our great state. As a baseball coach he won more than 200 games in his 14-year career including seven conference and district titles, four regional titles, and state runner-up finish while being named the conference coach of the year six times. As an athletic administrator he started several programs at Palm Beach Gardens which focused on celebrating the achievements of their student-athletes such as the Scholar Athlete Award, All-Conference Award Banquet, and Marquee Recognition Program. His work in organizing a strong sportsmanship initiative at the school led Palm Beach Gardens to winning the FHSAA Class 6A Sportsmanship School of the Year in 2000. In recognition for his work and dedication in creating a first class interscholastic athletics program, Rader was recognized as the WPEC TV 12 Athletic Director of the Year in 1990 & 2001. In his honor the Palm Beach County Athletic Conference baseball & softball programs created the Jay Rader Sportsmanship Award in 2006. Rader was formally inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, the Lake Worth High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, as well as the Palm Beach Gardens High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
On the state level, few have been as dedicated as Rader in helping to promote and advance education-based interscholastic athletics across Florida. A member of the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association since 1985, Rader served on the board of directors since 1993 having held executive board positions including Secretary (1997-2014) and Historian (2014-2018) and has nearly single-handedly organized and promoted the FIAAA’s quarterly e-newsletter for eleven years since its inception. He has been influential member of the Higher Education Committee for over a decade serving several terms as the vice-chair, and has been the state coordinator for the NIAAA Scholar Athlete Essay submission each year. He served a pair of terms on the FHSAA Athletic Director Advisory Committee (1996-1999 & 2001-2003) as well as two more terms on the Representative Assembly (1997-2001 & 2003-2005). Rader worked with the Section IV Appeals Committee from 2003-2006 in which he served as the chairman in 2005. Jay has been a key contributor to the FIAAA Conference serving as a breakout session speaker and Leadership Training Institute instructor. Annually, is one of several board members who volunteer their time at the registration desk helping attendees check-in throughout the week. Rader was honored as an FIAAA Lifetime Member in 2007 leading into his induction into the FHSAA Hall of Fame during the same year.
On the national level Rader served on the Florida State Host Committee for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Conference three times, and he also served on the NIAAA Retired AD Advisory Committee. For 31 consecutive national conventions, Jay was a visible and vocal contributor as a breakout session moderator and LTI course facilitator. Rader was recognized by the national organization with the NIAAA Award of Merit in 2000 as well as the Distinguished Service Award in 2004.
While remaining active in the state and national associations, Rader currently devotes many hours to umpiring baseball where he has worked in addition to his athletic administrator duties for over 30 years, having officiated a pair of state Final Four’s and twice serving on the FHSAA Officials Advisory Committee.
Class of 2018 FIAAA Hall of Fame Inductee Michael Colby states, “Jay is truly an amazing individual and to be able to call him a friend and colleague has truly been my honor. A more deserving individual for the honor of induction into the FIAAA Hall of Fame would be difficult to find.”
Information concerning the guidelines and a nomination packet can be obtained below.