FIAAA HALL OF FAME
This award is presented an athletic administrator as a means of recognizing the outstanding achievements of interscholastic athletic administrators in the State of Florida, as well as honoring the distinguished achievements of those who have attained excellence and made a positive and dynamic impact upon the FIAAA, student-athletes, high school communities, coaches and colleagues.
Information concerning the guidelines and a nomination packet can be obtained below.
The inductees in the FIAAA Hall of Fame at the 45th Annual State Conference include three outstanding athletic administrators who have distinguished themselves, locally, statewide, and nationally. The inductees are:
2023 FIAAA Hall of Fame
Since 1997, Jerri Kelly has been a fixture in the Lake Brantley High School and Altamonte Spring communities serving as a teacher, coach, and athletic administrator. The Somers, Indiana native and standout basketball player at St. Mary’s College in South Bend Indiana, Kelly would embark on a 43-year career in education including 26 years as part of the Lake Brantley Patriot community. Starting as a math teacher and a coach, she would quickly establish herself as a selfless leader that people would automatically attract to. Over the first 20 years of her career, Kelly would serve as a coach for five different sports teams including: girls basketball, boys & girls volleyball, softball, and tennis before beginning her career in athletic administrator as an assistant athletic director in 1999. Beginning in 2006, Kelly would become the athletic director at Lake Brantley and would spend the next sixteen years creating one of the most well-respected athletic departments in the State of Florida. Her vision and leadership helped oversee the construction of numerous on campus facility projects including the Lake Brantley Aquatics Center, turf projects in both the football & baseball stadiums, as well as a new rubberized track. She created new coaches’ manuals and parent handbooks, and would be the first to bring cashless ticket sales to Seminole County Public Schools in 2017. Kelly’s vision and planning would see through the creation of the Lake Brantley Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018. She would be named as the Seminole County AD of the Year two times in both 2012 and 2014. In 2022, she would be named the Seminole County Sports Council AD of the Year, and would also be inducted into the Lake Brantley High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Later that year she would be honored by the City of Altamonte Springs with a proclamation on September 24th, 2022 as “Jerri Kelly Day.”
Kelly’s amazing work ethic and leadership would carry over into her service to the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association beginning in 2008, where she would serve the organization as the District 8 Representative on the FIAAA Board of Directors, as well as the Chairwoman of the Review Committee. Kelly would serve one year as the organizations Secretary in 2015 before being selected to become the FIAAA President-Elect in 2016. Her work in planning the conference that year may be one of the most influential times in the organizations history, as she negotiated with the FHSAA to hold their required compliance seminar at the annual FIAAA Conference, which would see attendance rise by over 150% that year. Due to her work in 2016, the FIAAA continues to see record numbers each year due to that historic decision to create a partnership that would benefit both organizations. Kelly would serve as the 40th President of the FIAAA from 2016-2017, and that year would also chair the FHSAA Athletic Director Advisory Committee. In 2019 she would be honored with the FIAAA Dr. Clarence Noe Athletic Director of the Year.
“Jerri has always gone above and beyond what her job title was. She truly cared about every student and they all knew they could go to her for anything they needed” said Pat Bates, Mayor of Altamonte Springs. “Jerri Kelly’s name is synonymous with athletic excellence in high schools,” said retired Lake Brantley Principal, Mr. Michael Gaudrea, “She is one of the most respected Athletic Directors in the State of Florida, and has run a premier athletic program that is a model for athletic achievement.”
Following his graduation from Central Michigan University, David Horner would begin his journey as a teacher and a coach in Michigan for the first 13 years of an outstanding 41-year career in education. In 1981 he would leave the snowy winters of the north to head to Ocala, Florida where he joined the Forest High School football coaching staff as the offensive coordinator. Later as a coach, Horner would lead the Forest Track & Field program to eight consecutive district titles, and he would win 302 games over 14 seasons at the helm of the Wildcats Girls Basketball program, including a trip the Class 5A ‘Final Four’ in 1998. Beginning in 1993 he would become the Athletic Director at Forest High School, where he would spend 15 years overseeing the Wildcat athletic department before his retirement in 2008. During his time at the athletic director, Horner added several new girls’ sports including soccer, weightlifting and wrestling as well as starting the schools first boy’s lacrosse team. He oversaw the planning of a 16 team girls basketball holiday tournament, and was instrumental in bringing the Forest athletic department into gender equity compliance.
Horner would serve the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as a member of the board of directors for 15 years, including chairing numerous committees and organization initiatives. He would become the President Elect in 2000, and would serve as the association’s 25th President from 2001 to 2022. Horner would be named the FIAAA Dr. Clarence Noe Outstanding Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2004-2005. Dave also served on the FHSAA Board of Directors from 2002 through 2008, serving as the association’s President in 2005-2006.
“Dave’s servant leadership and impact on interscholastic athletics during his time as both a coach and athletic director in Marion County can still be seen to this day,” said FIAAA District Director Donald Tucker, “Both our school district as well as the FIAAA have benefited greatly due to his amazing work.”
Since 1973, Ronnie Youngblood has served the student-athletes of the Florida panhandle as a teacher, coach, and athletic administrator. He would begin his career in education at Niceville High School, and five years later in 1978 make the move east to Tallahassee Leon High School to serve as a physical education teacher, head baseball coach, and assistant football coach. During his tenure at Leon as the head baseball coach he was named the recipient of the Franklin Life Select Circle National Coaching Award, which at the time was given to fewer than two percent of the coaches in the nation. In 1989, Youngblood was named the Assistant County Athletic Director, and in 1992 promoted to the role of Director of Athletics and Student Activities for the Leon County School District. He eventually went on to serve as Divisional Director for several departments for Leon County Schools until his retirement in 2017.
While serving as the Leon County Athletic Director, Youngblood developed a coaching certification program, successfully began high school girls flag football as a sport, as well as creating a middle school interscholastic sports program for nine male and female sports, including securing funding to restart middle school tackle football for the first time in 30 years. In addition, he oversaw the school district band and choral programs, excellence program, and on campus student activities. Youngblood also served as the Chairman of the Tallahassee Sports Council and was a member of the executive board for the Tallahassee Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. He was the tournament director for the FHSAA State Football Final in 2001 & 2002 held at the FSU Bobby Bowden Field, as well as served as the director for six FHSAA soccer state finals.
During his career, Youngblood was a member of the FACA, FIAAA, and NIAAA. He served as the District 2 Board of Directors Representative for FIAAA, and later would serve terms as the associations Secretary & President Elect. He would become the associations 22nd President in 1998-1999. He would make huge contributions to the state AD association as he created the first FIAAA web site and email directory, and was integral in the creation of the Mandy Stoll Scholarship Silent Auction, which continues to this day. Youngblood would be named the Dr. Clarence Noe Athletic Director of the Year in 2001 as well as would be honored as the NIAAA State Award of Merit recipient in 2002. After retiring in 2017, he was honored as a Lifetime Member of the FIAAA.
Ron has been married to Peggy Smith Youngblood for 48 years, and enjoys spending time with their family. “Ronnie’s most endearing quality is his loyalty to his family, friends, and his profession,” said retired Leon County Athletic Director, Mr. Ricky Bell, “When I followed him as Leon County AD in 2002 he was always there for me when I needed advice, no matter what time of day or night. I could not have had a better mentor than Mr. Ronnie Youngblood.”