Bruce Whitehead, CMAA, has announced his retirement as executive director of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA), effective June 30, 2016. The NIAAA is the national leadership organization for high school and middle school athletic administrators based in Indianapolis.
Whitehead joined the NIAAA staff in 2001 as assistant to Frank Kovaleski, the NIAAA’s first national director, and succeeded Kovaleski as executive director in 2005. Prior to joining the NIAAA, Whitehead spent 33 years at Crawfordsville (Indiana) High School, including the final 25 years as the school’s athletic administrator.
During his tenure as NIAAA executive director, the organization experienced strong development in a variety of areas. While the association’s membership has grown by more than 75 percent, a key accomplishment was gaining North Central Association CASI accreditation in 2011. As a professional development proponent for athletic administrators, the Leadership Training Institute curriculum has expanded by 14 courses and the Certification Program now provides two additional levels.
Other significant accomplishments during Whitehead’s tenure include implementation of the NIAAA Hall of Fame, a budget that has doubled in size, completion of three strategic plans, starting of the Student Essay/Scholarship Program, implementation of the Professional Development Outreach Program with an international presence, and relocation of the national office and staff expansion.
Whitehead has a long association with the NIAAA as a member, leader and staff member. He became a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) in the charter-year class of 1988, followed by earning the Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) status. He was a six-year member of the NIAAA Resolutions Committee, including four years as chair, and was NIAAA secretary-treasurer for seven years prior to joining the NIAAA staff in 2001.
After graduating from Purdue University in 1968, Whitehead went directly to Crawfordsville High School, where he taught math, chaired the math department, was computer coordinator and athletic business manager before becoming the athletic administrator in 1976. He was a member of the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (IIAAA) Board of Directors from 1979 to 1987, including a term as president, and he was a member of the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Whitehead has received the NIAAA Award of Merit, NIAAA Distinguished Service Award, NFHS Citation, NIAAA Commendation, NIAAA State Award of Merit and IIAAA Charles Maas Distinguished Service Award. He was IIAAA Athletic Director of the Year, and he has been inducted into the National Council of Secondary Schools Hall of Fame and the Crawfordsville High School Hall of Fame.
He and his wife, Pam, have been married for 46 years. They have three grown children with families that include eight grandchildren.