Six high school athletic directors will be inducted into the ninth Hall of Fame class of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) December 12 in Phoenix, Arizona, during banquet festivities at the 48th annual National Athletic Directors Conference co-sponsored by the NIAAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
This year’s conference will be held December 8-12 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
The 2017 NIAAA Hall of Fame class includes Ron Belinko, CMAA, retired coordinator of athletics, Baltimore County (Maryland) Public Schools; John Evers, CMAA, retired director of athletics, Castle High School, Newburgh, Indiana; Sandy Hadaway, CMAA, retired athletic director, Salem (Virginia) High School; Marc Hunter, CMAA, retired director of athletics, Jordan High School, Sandy, Utah, and currently executive director of the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association; Larry Munksgaard, CAA, retired athletic director, Lincoln (Nebraska) Southeast High School; and John Van Fleet, CMAA, retired athletic director, Morris, Illinois.
Following are biographical sketches of the six members of the 2017 NIAAA Hall of Fame class:
Ron Belinko, CMAA
Ron Belinko, CMAA, retired in 2011 after a remarkable 46-year career as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator in the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), including the final 19 years as coordinator of athletics. After retirement, he served the BCPS as an interscholastic athletics consultant for several years.
After graduating from the University of Baltimore in 1966, Belinko coached football, wrestling and lacrosse and was a physical education teacher at the junior high and high school levels for 12 years before moving into athletic administration. He later earned his master’s degree from Morgan State University.
Belinko spent three years as a coach at Eastern Technical High School and 11 years at Overlea High School, including five as athletic director, and then moved into the BCPS central office in 1983 as supervisor of physical education and athletics in the Division of Instruction. In 1991, he was appointed coordinator of physical education and athletics and assumed the newly created position of coordinator of athletics in 1993.
As coordinator of athletics for the BCPS, Belinko was responsible for 24 high schools, 26 middle schools and more than 1,600 coaches. He introduced Allied Sports in 1994, a program to provide students with disabilities the same opportunity as those without disabilities. He also increased participation rates in the district, implemented a wrestling weight certification requirement before it was mandated nationally and started a program to have athletic trainers in all high schools.
At the state level, Belinko devoted countless hours to the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association (MSADA) and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA). He has been the NIAAA Leadership Training coordinator for the MSADA for 18 years and has been an instructor for 11 Leadership Training Courses. He taught Leadership Training Courses during professional development days at schools throughout the Baltimore area. He has made presentations and taught classes at 30 MSADA conferences.
Since 1983, Belinko has served on the MPSSAA Board of Control and Classification Committee, and he has been on the MPSSAA Executive Council since 1991. He also was MPSSAA president (1994-96), director of the MPSSAA Lacrosse Committee for 28 years and director of the state wrestling tournament for 17 years. During his year as president, the open tournament format for state playoffs was implemented.
Nationally, Belinko is chair of NIAAA Leadership Training Course 707 and 633 and has been a national presenter for LTC 502 and 707. He also served as vice-chair of the NIAAA Certification Committee. Belinko has given numerous workshop presentations at the National Athletic Directors Conference and initiated the NIAAA Outreach Grant for the city of Baltimore’s athletic directors. He also served seven years on the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee, including four years as chair (2003-07), and he has written several articles for Interscholastic Athletic Administration magazine and High School Today.
Since retiring to Delaware, Belinko has been an active member of the Delaware Association of Athletic Directors (DAAD) and is an LTI instructor for the NIAAA’s legal courses.
Among his numerous awards, Belinko has been inducted into the Maryland State Wrestling Hall of Fame (1987), the Eastern Technical High School Athletic Hall of Fame (2000) and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (2004). He received the NFHS Citation in 2004, the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 2007 and the Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award in 2011. In 2013, Belinko was inducted into the MSADA Hall of Fame.
John Evers, CMAA
John Evers, CMAA, served as the director of athletics at Newburgh (Indiana) Castle High School for 17 years before retiring in 2011. During his 35-year career as a teacher, coach and athletic director, he earned great respect and admiration at the local, state and national levels.
Since he retired from full-time athletic administration, Evers was sports information director and secretary to the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference (SIAC) for five years, and last year assumed duties as developmental editor for the Interscholastic Athletic Administration (IAA) magazine.
Prior to becoming athletic director at Castle, Evers spent four years as the head football and assistant wrestling coach at Rockport (Indiana) South Spencer High School. From 1978 to 1990, he served as Castle’s assistant track and field, football and baseball coach, while teaching life sciences, biology, health and physical education. Evers also taught and coached seventh-grade football and eighth-grade track and field at Castle Junior High School.
As athletic director at Castle High School, Evers directed programs for 19 sports, 45 teams and 60 coaches. He computerized all athletic functions and record-keeping at Castle and developed a Student Athletic Council and Student Athletic Handbook. He developed a Gender Equity Committee and mentorship program, directed more than 200 Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and SIAC tournament events, and conducted the IHSAA’s new athletic directors workshop.
Within the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (IIAAA), Evers has served on its board of directors, strategic planning committee and leadership training committee. He has also been the IIAAA president, first vice president, conference director, liaison to the NIAAA, past president and secretary.
Other statewide contributions to athletic administration include 17 years on the SIAC Board of Directors, co-director of the SIAC Sportsmanship Summit and co-chairman of the SIAC Basketball Tournament for 17 years.
Nationally, Evers has been very active within the NIAAA, completing 22 Leadership Training Courses and attending 19 National Athletic Directors Conferences. He has also served as the Indiana delegate to the NIAAA Delegate Assembly seven times, and has been a presenter at eight National Athletic Directors Conferences.
Evers’ greatest contribution nationally has been his devotion to writing through the IAA magazine. He has had more than 40 articles published in the NIAAA’s quarterly magazine, and he has served on the NIAAA Publications Committee since 2004, including four years as chair. He also contributed to the writing of LTC 511 and 611 and has served on the National Teaching Faculty since 2002. He has served as a member and moderator of the Blue Ribbon Panel at the National Athletic Directors Conference.
Evers received the NIAAA State Award of Merit and the NFHS Citation in 2005, and he was selected State Athletic Director of the Year in 2007. Within the IIAAA, Evers received the prestigious Charles Maas Distinguished Service Award in 2011.
Twice a summa cum laude graduate, Evers received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Evansville (Indiana).
Sandy Hadaway, CMAA
Sandy Hadaway, CMAA, retired in 2014 after a highly successful 33-year career at Salem High School. She joined the Salem staff in 1981 as assistant principal and added the duties of athletic director and student activities coordinator in 1990.
Hadaway graduated from Roanoke College in 1974 after an outstanding playing career in basketball, golf, field hockey and volleyball. She helped both the basketball and golf teams to Virginia State Intercollegiate Championships. Hadaway then earned her master’s degree from Virginia Tech. In 1982, Hadaway was inducted into the Roanoke College Hall of Fame.
During her 24 years as athletic director at Salem High School, Hadaway directed more than 200 district, region and state tournaments for the Virginia High School League (VHSL). She was responsible for adding girls and boys soccer, girls and boys lacrosse, girls and boys swimming, as well as scholastic, forensics, theatre and debate teams. Hadaway also developed a Captain’s Forum, coaches handbook and a coaches evaluation program, and she helped to implement a drug/alcohol policy for students and athletes.
At the state level, Hadaway’s accomplishments were extraordinary. Within the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA), she was treasurer, president-elect, president, chair of three state conferences, presenter at eight state conferences and the state’s lead instructor for Leadership Training Course (LTC) 502.
In addition to serving on numerous VIAAA committees, Hadaway was a member of the following VHSL committees: Hall of Fame Selection, Sportsmanship, Personnel Selection, State Advisory Lacrosse, Steroid Task Force and Football Ratings. She was an instructor at 10 VHSL/VIAAA New Athletic Director Workshops and was the girls lacrosse rules interpreter for eight years.
Hadaway’s service on the national level with the NIAAA has been equally impressive. She has served as chair of the Membership and Services Committee and Endowment Committee and was a CAA test administrator for several years. She has completed numerous Leadership Training Institute (LTI) courses and is an instructor for LTC 501 and LTC 508, and she was a member of the NIAAA Delegate Assembly seven times. She earned her Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) certification in 1995 and Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) in 2000.
In addition to her busy schedule as an athletic administrator, Hadaway was a high school and college official for 37 years. As a member of the Southwest Board of Officials, she officiated high school basketball, volleyball, field hockey, softball and lacrosse. She also officiated at the collegiate level in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in the sports of volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse and basketball.
Hadaway’s list of honors and awards is extensive. She was named Virginia AA Athletic Director of the Year in 1995 and received the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 1996. She also was the recipient of the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2003, the NFHS Citation in 2006, the John Youngblood Award in 2012 and the Claudia Dodson Equity Award in 2014. In 2007, Hadaway was inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame.
Marc Hunter, CMAA
Mentor, educator, coach, servant leader — these are just a few of the traits that best describe Marc “Hutch” Hunter and his remarkable 34-year career serving the students, coaches, and school community of Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah, and the athletic administrators of Utah and across the nation.
Hunter began his tenure at Jordan High School in 1979 as a mathematics teacher, and during his first 10 years he served as a head coach in five sports — football, girls basketball, baseball, track and soccer. He was the school’s director of athletics for 30 of those years.
Hunter was also a statewide leader in athletic administration through his involvement with the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (UIAAA) and the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA). He has been the coordinator of the UIAAA state conference since 1998 and has been a conference speaker 11 times. In his time with the UIAAA, he was instrumental in establishing the UIAAA Hall of Fame and the UIAAA student/athlete scholarship program. Today, Hunter continues to serve as executive director of the UIAAA, a position he has held since 1999.
Hunter’s commitment and dedication to the athletic administrators of Utah was also evident at the national level. His volunteer service to the NIAAA began with his commitment to the newly established Leadership Training Program in 1998. He was quickly recognized by his peers as a national leader and promoter of professional development for athletic administrators across the nation. A lifetime member of the NIAAA, Hunter’s contributions to athletic administration at the national level have been comprehensive.
Hunter currently serves as the past chair of the National Executive Directors’ Council (NEDC) and recently completed a two-year term as chair of the NEDC. Hunter served as the chair of the Operations Subcommittee for the 2015-2020 NIAAA Strategic Plan.
Hunter also served on the NIAAA Board of Directors (2009-11) and the NIAAA Awards Committee for eight years, five as its chair (2003-08). He has been a LTI National Faculty member since 2000 and has served as chair of Leadership Training Course 790 since 2002. As a Leadership Training instructor, he has taught 10 different courses in 19 locations since 1998. He served as the NIAAA representative on the NFHS 2005-2008 Strategic Planning Committee and has been a workshop presenter at the National Athletic Directors Conference four times.
Earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a master’s from Brigham Young University, Hunter has been recognized many times during his career. In 2014, he was the recipient of the NIAAA Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award. Hunter also received the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2006, the NFHS Citation in 2002 and an NIAAA State Award of Merit in 1999. He earned his CAA status in 1997 and CMAA designation in 2000. Other awards include Athletic Director of the Year from five different organizations. In 2014, Hunter was inducted into the UIAAA Hall of Fame.
In 2015, Hunter was coaxed out of coaching retirement to serve as the offensive line coach of the Utah Falconz semi-professional women’s’ football team. In 2016 and 2017, the Falconz won back-to-back national championships.
Hunter and his wife, Debra, are the parents of five children (Jason, Aaron, Andrea, Tiffany and Adam) and 13 grandchildren.
Larry Munksgaard, CAA
Larry Munksgaard, CAA, was one of the key leaders in high school athletic administration in Iowa and Nebraska, and nationally with the NIAAA, during his 34 years as an athletic administrator. Munksgaard retired in 2010 to conclude a 17-year career as athletic director of Lincoln (Nebraska) Southeast High School.
Munksgaard, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University, was athletic director for two years at Oelwein (Iowa) High School and for 15 years (1978-93) at Cedar Falls (Iowa) High School. During his tenure at Cedar Falls High School, Munksgaard instituted a drug and alcohol prevention program that reduced student and athlete usage of alcohol and drugs by 50 percent during their sports seasons. His program became the template for the state of Iowa with more than 125 schools participating. In recognition of his accomplishments at Cedar Falls, Munksgaard was named Iowa Athletic Director of the Year and he received the NIAAA State Award of Merit.
Under his direction at Lincoln Southeast, the school won 35 Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) state championships and 10 consecutive Omaha World Herald All-Sports Championships. Southeast was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame as the Athletic Program of the Decade for the 1990s.
Munksgaard organized a student-athlete athletic club at Lincoln Southeast that involved monthly presentations on goal setting, preparing for college, appropriate behavior and off-season conditioning, and awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships. He also created the school’s High School Hall of Fame and started a Senior Awards Night.
At the state level, Munksgaard was president and newsletter editor of the Nebraska State Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NSIAAA) and an active participant in the Nebraska Coaches Association (NCA). Through the NCA, Munksgaard organized a statewide sportsmanship summit and created the statewide sportsmanship awards program for girls and boys basketball. The sportsmanship summit now attracts more than 1,000 participants annually.
From 2012 to 2014, Munksgaard was executive director of the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame. During his tenure, the Hall of Fame opened a new exhibit hall and sponsored a sportsmanship assembly entitled SPORTSMANSHIP FOR LIFE for middle school students in conjunction with the University of Nebraska Life Skills Department.
Munksgaard was a key contributor to the NIAAA through his service on the NIAAA Board of Directors and as a member of the NIAAA Publications Committee and Hall of Fame Committee. He was a member of the Publications Committee from 1996 to 2004 and wrote numerous articles for the Interscholastic Athletic Administration magazine and served as moderator of the Blue Ribbon Panel at the National Conference.
During his year as president of the NIAAA in 2006, Munksgaard spearheaded an effort that increased membership from 5,200 to 7,000. He also was instrumental in starting the National Scholarship Essay Program and leading the organization to establish its own identity from the NFHS. While president, Munksgaard also started a new Hall of Fame Committee that led to the NIAAA’s first induction ceremony in 2009.
Among his other awards, Munksgaard was named Nebraska Athletic Director of the Year by the NSIAAA in 2002, and he received the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2002 and the NFHS Citation in 2006.
John Van Fleet, CMAA
During a varied career, not only was John Van Fleet, CMAA, a teacher, coach, trainer and athletic director, he was a licensed official in Iowa and Illinois in softball, baseball, basketball, football and track.
Van Fleet retired in 2006 after a 30-year career as a high school teacher, coach, athletic trainer and athletic director at several schools in Iowa and Illinois. He began his career as a teacher and athletic trainer at Ames (Iowa) High School in 1977. He then served 12 years at Gilbert (Iowa) Community Junior-Senior High School before moving to Illinois, where he was a coach and athletic director at Streator (Illinois) Township High School for eight years, Sterling (Illinois) High School for three years and Woodstock (Illinois) High School for three years.
At Streator High School, Van Fleet started an evening study time for athletes that improved academic performance and gained the support of faculty. At Sterling High School, he started soccer at the school that had a 30 percent Hispanic enrollment that were under-served.
Van Fleet coached for a total of 24 years, including 14 years as a head football coach, 12 years as a head boys track coach, two years as head baseball coach and one year as head girls softball coach.
Van Fleet was coordinator of the Illinois Athletic Directors Association’s (IADA) state Leadership Training Institute for 12 years. He also has produced seven editions of the IADA Leadership Training Institute Professional Development brochure and 11 editions of the Mentoring Program for New Athletic Directors Handbook. Van Fleet also trains and recruits IADA members for the Illinois Leadership Training Faculty. Of the 34 courses that are approved Administrators Academy courses by the Illinois State Board of Education, three of the templates were written by Van Fleet.
Van Fleet was forced to take early retirement in 2006 due to health concerns after being diagnosed with cancer in 2004. Since retiring, he has been the sportsmanship evaluator for the Illinois High School Association in football and dual-team wrestling and a mentor athletic director for the IADA. He also has assisted in the production of a study guide for the CAA exam for NIAAA members.
Nationally, Van Fleet has made enormous contributions to the NIAAA. He has completed 31 Leadership Training Courses (LTC), and he has taught an amazing 80 Leadership Training Institute (LTI) courses. He has been a member of the LTI National Faculty since 2003 teaching LTC 501 and LTC 618. He has made several presentations at the National Athletic Directors Conference and has had articles published in the Interscholastic Athletic Administration magazine.
Van Fleet earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and his master’s from Illinois State University. Among his honors, he was named Heart of Iowa Conference Football Co-Coach of the Year in 1988 and was inducted into the IADA Hall of Fame in 2009. He received the NFHS Citation in 2006, the NIAAA Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award in 2010 and the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2013.