Gary Musselman championed high school athletics and activities in the state of Kansas for more than 40 years – from his time as a teacher and coach to his state association work and eventual leadership of the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) to his multi-faceted service to the NFHS. Those efforts will now be formally recognized with an induction into the KSHSAA Hall of Fame, as the association announced last week that Musselman would be one of five members in its 2021 class.
A Ness City, Kansas native, Musselman began his career as a teacher and coach at four different schools in The Sunflower State – Independence Junior High School, Andover Junior-Senior High School, Beloit Junior-Senior High School and Halstead High School – and was also principal at La Crosse High School.
In 1988, Musselman joined the KSHSAA as an assistant executive director and occupied that position for seven years until he was appointed executive director-elect in 1995. He assumed the role of executive director – the sixth in the history of the KSHSAA – beginning with the 1996-97 school year and embarked on 22 years of service, which made him the association’s longest-tenured leader.
Over the course of more than two decades, Musselman guided the implementation of several new programs including the Student Advisory Team, which, in 1997, was just the second of its kind at the state level. He also instituted the KSHSAA’s Officials Recognition Program; Sports Medicine Advisory Committee; League Commissioners Summit; Officials Advisory Committee; Game Day Spirit Showcase Competition; Spirit of Sports and Heart of the Arts; and bowling as a new sport offering. Musselman’s time at the helm also saw changes to postseason playoff formats and heightened educational requirements for athletic administrators, coaches, parents and students.
Nationally, Musselman served a four-year term on the NFHS Board of Directors, concluding with a year as president in 2016-17. In addition, he was a member of several committees, including three NFHS Strategic Planning Committees, the Appeals Committee, the Marketing Committee, the Citizenship/Equity Committee, the Football Rules Committee and chair of the Sportsmanship/Wellness Committee.
Musselman earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Kansas State University in 1974 and graduated with honors from Wichita State University in 1987 with a master’s degree in secondary school administration.