The 99th annual National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Summer Meeting will be held June 28-July 2 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. The NFHS is the national leadership organization for high school athletic and performing arts activities and is composed of state high school associations in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
More than 800 individuals are expected to attend the Summer Meeting, including staff members and board members from the 51-member associations.
The 36th annual induction ceremony of the National High School Hall of Fame and discussion of several key issues affecting high school sports and performing arts highlight this year’s agenda.
Twelve individuals will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame, including Tom Osborne and Dick Fosbury.
Osborne was a three-sport standout (football, basketball, track and field) at Hastings (Nebraska) High School in the early 1950s before becoming one of the most successful coaches in college football history. Fosbury developed the upside-down, back-layout leap known as the Fosbury Flop at Medford (Oregon) High School and later perfected it by winning the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
Other former high school athletes in the 2018 class are Nicole Powell, one of Arizona’s top all-time girls basketball players during her days at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix who later excelled at Stanford University and in the WNBA, and Carrie Tollefson, who won five state cross country championships and eight individual track titles at Dawson-Boyd High School in Dawson, Minnesota, before winning individual and team NCAA titles while competing at Villanova University and qualifying for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.
Five outstanding coaches will be inducted in the 2018 class, including Miller Bugliari, No. 2 nationally in boys soccer coaching victories with a 850-116-75 record in 58 years at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and Dorothy Gaters, the Illinois state leader with 1,106 career victories in 42 years as girls basketball coach at John Marshall High School in Chicago who won her ninth Illinois High School Association state title earlier this year.
Other coaches who will be honored this year are Buddy Anderson, the winningest football coach in Alabama history with 329 victories the past 40 years at Vestavia Hills High School; Jeff Meister, girls and boys swimming coach at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, who has led his teams to a combined 34 Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships; and Bill O’Neil, who retired last year after winning almost 1,300 games as the boys ice hockey, girls soccer and girls softball coach at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont.
The other three members of the 2018 class are Roger Barr, who retired in 2015 after a 43-year career in high school officiating in Iowa, including the final 13 years as director of officials for the Iowa High School Athletic Association; Dick Neal, who retired in 2013 after a 34-year career as executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association; and Bill Zurkey, who retired in 2012 after an outstanding 35-year career as a choral director in three Ohio schools, including the final 25 years at Avon Lake High School.
Among the topics that will be discussed at the 52 workshops during the NFHS Summer Meeting are esports, recruiting and retaining officials, overuse and sport specialization, crowd control, social media, inclusion, digital ticketing, and participation by students in home, charter and virtual schools.
In addition, the Legal/Sports Medicine Workshop will be held at 1:00 p.m. on June 30. This event provides an ideal opportunity to discuss current legal and medical issues, as well as an open exchange among the attendees.
The Summer Meeting will kick off on June 29 with the Opening General Session featuring Mark Wood, original member and string master of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Along with the 11th annual National High School Spirit of Sport Award ceremony, the NFHS will present its performing arts counterpart – the National High School Heart of the Arts Award – for the fifth time.
Marissa Walker of Waterford (Connecticut) High School will receive the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, and Cecelia Egan of Riverside St. Mary Academy-Bay View (Rhode Island) will receive the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.
The Second General Session on June 30 will feature NFHS President Jerome Singleton and NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner, and the Closing General Session on July 2 will feature speaker and author, Aaron Davis.
The Summer Meeting Luncheon will be held at 12 p.m. on July 1 and will feature the presentation of NFHS Citations to 12 individuals. State association honorees include Steve Timko of New Jersey, Melissa Mertz of Pennsylvania, Keith Alexander of Louisiana, Craig Ihnen of Iowa, David Cherry of Kansas, T.J. Parks of New Mexico, Becky Anderson of Utah and Trevor Wilson of Wyoming.
Other Citation recipients are Joe Manjone of Alabama (NFHS Officials Association), Scott Evans of New Mexico (NFHS Coaches Association), Alan Greiner of Iowa (NFHS Music Association) and Tara Tate of Illinois (NFHS Speech/Debate/Theatre Association).
The NFHS Summer Meeting will conclude at 6 p.m. July 2 with the induction of the 2018 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.