Tom Mezzanotte, who has been executive director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) since 2004, has announced his retirement, effective July 31, 2020, which will conclude a 47-year career in education.
Mezzanotte became only the second full-time executive director of the RIIL in 2004 after more than 30 years as a teacher, football coach, assistant principal and principal in Rhode Island.
During his more than 15 years as head of the RIIL, Mezzanotte revamped the mandatory certification requirements for coaches, initiated a student leadership program for student-athletes, implemented a Unified Sports program for students with intellectual disabilities, helped develop the Rhode Island Concussion Law, promoted rules limiting contact during the regular season in collision sports and implemented an online program to register and pay all officials.
Mezzanotte served a term on the NFHS Board of Directors from 2011 to 2015, culminated by a year as president during the 2014-15 school year. In addition to his service on the Board, Mezzanotte previously was a member of the NFHS Annual Summer Meeting Advisory Committee and NFHS Football Rules Committee, and he served on the NFHS Task Force for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities.
Mezzanotte, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Providence (Rhode Island) College, previously served on the Rhode Island Association of School Principals Executive Board. He has received many awards, including the 2011 Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association Service Award, the 2008 United States Scholar-Athlete “Power of Good Award,” the Distinguished Service Award from the Rhode Island Athletic Administrators Association, the Above and Beyond Award in 2003 from the Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve, the Brown University Athletic Appreciation Award, the Sons of Italy Award and induction into the Classical High School Hall of Fame.