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Contest Management Tips for Making a Positive Impression
By Gary Stevens, CMAA
Gary Stevens is the athletic administrator at Thornton Academy, an independent school serving students in grades 6-12 in Saco, Maine. He has been an athletic administrator for seventeen years. Prior to beginning his tenure at Thornton Academy in 2007, he served eleven years as an athletic administrator at Bonny Eagle High School, including nine years as an assistant principal. Gary graduated from Harvard in 1983 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in History, cum laude in General Studies. He received his Masters of Arts degree in American and New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine in 2000 and is currently a candidate for a Masters of Science degree in School Leadership from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. He currently holds both the CAA (1999) and CMAA (2004) certification from the NIAAA.
Stevens served on the Board of Directors for the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and is currently Assistant Executive Director for that organization. His major responsibilities include organizing the association’s annual fall conference, overseeing its Professional Development Program for new athletic directors, and serving as editor of MIAAA News, its electronic magazine and newsletter. He is also a member of the Maine Basketball Commission and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors. He was named the recipient of the Robert Lahey Award as Maine’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2005 and has also received the MIAAA Past Presidents’ Special Achievement Award and the Gerald Durgin Leadership Award.
Stevens joined the NIAAA Publications Committee in 2006 and was selected as the Vice-Chair in 2012. He has presented at two national conferences and has authored 48 articles for Interscholastic Athletic Administration magazine, the NIAAA’s professional journal. Recently he also wrote a chapter on contest management for the NIAAA’s Guide to Interscholastic Athletic Administration, published by Human Kinetics. Stevens was a recipient of the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2010 and has twice been the Section I nominee for the Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award. He has attended all national conferences for athletic directors since 2003 and was a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel in 2009. He has served as a Leadership Training Institute course instructor at state conferences in both Maine and New Hampshire and has sat for LTI courses himself on 44 occasions.
Locally Stevens has served as the president of the Southwestern Maine Activities Association and was both the president and secretary of that group’s Sportsmanship Committee. He has served as a member and chairman of the Maine Principals’ Association Cheerleading, Lacrosse, and Western Maine Class A/B Basketball Committees.
A high school athletic director is never more visible than on game day. The quality of the sport experience for both participants and spectators is a direct result of an athletic administrator’s management of a variety of factors and personnel. Spectators entering the venue for the first time develop immediate impressions about a school and its athletic program based on their perceptions of how well an event is organized and managed. The athletic director plays the role of event coordinator and supervisor, box office manager, and master of ceremonies, and contrary to the advice given in a best-selling book, athletic directors must “sweat the small stuff.”
Watch a recording of the most recent installment in the ASEP Successful Coaching Webinar Series “Contest Management Tips for Making a Positive Impression.” Brought to you free of charge by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) and Clell Wade Coaches Directory, this hour-long webinar was conducted by Gary Stevens, CMAA, Thornton Academy, Saco, ME.
Contest staff management and duties
Ticket sellers and ticket takers
Security or law enforcement personnel
Game management positions
Clock and scoreboard operators
Official scorers and statisticians
Game officials and referees (including shot clock and possession arrow officials)
Football sideline personnel
Track and field officials
Certified athletic trainer services
Emergency management services
Public address announcer
Host and visitor administrators
Pre-event and game-day communication (with coaches, officials, other support personnel, media)
Spectator amenities, management, and supervision
The ASEP Successful Coaching webinar series is offered free of charge to coaches, athletic administrators, athletic trainers, instructors, students, professionals, and parents interested in learning about the hottest topics in the sports arena. Webinars to date have addressed concussion management, bullying and social media, sports nutrition, and college recruitment.
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