USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, announced today that Dr. Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), has joined its board of directors.
The USA Football Board of Directors is comprised of leaders in education, medicine and sport. Board members guide and help USA Football to establish important standards and programs to advance the sport for high school, youth and other amateur-level players.
Niehoff began her position as NFHS executive director on August 1, 2018, becoming the organization’s sixth full-time executive director and the first female to lead the organization. Prior to the NFHS, she served as the executive director of the NFHS-member Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAS-CIAC) for seven years.
“Our board’s direction and expertise has helped USA Football evolve and grow our sport for the benefit of athletes and coaches across all levels of football,” USA Football CEO SCOTT HALLENBECK said. “We are pleased to add Dr. Niehoff’s scholastic athletics credentials, experience and leadership to our board.”
Prior to joining the CAS-CIAC in 2010 as deputy executive director, Niehoff was a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal at the middle school and high school levels in Connecticut for 20 years. During her time as field hockey coach at Litchfield High School and Joel Barlow High School, she won four conference titles and one state championship. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s from Southern Connecticut State University, a sixth-year degree in educational leadership from Central Connecticut State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut.
"Football provides more than a million student-athletes with a wealth of fun, positive experiences, exceptional fitness and friendships that enrich their lives during and long after their high school years,” Niehoff said. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to help advance the sport of football, and I’m excited to work alongside other leaders who are committed to doing the same.”
Football is the No. 1 participatory sport of high school boys with more than 1 million student-athletes. USA Football educates more high school and youth coaches combined than any organization in the United States. As the only U.S. Olympic Committee member dedicated solely to football, the organization designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs for coaches, athletes and administrators.