The History of the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association

In the summer of 1978, Mr. Gil Cloud drove to Bartlesville, Oklahoma to visit with Mr. Paul Guymon.  Paul was the Treasurer of the Oklahoma Athletic Directors organization that had just become defunct.  Gil, along with Tom Westbrook, Don Walker, Jim Sellers, Steve Smiley, Fred Christian, and John Scott took up the charge of forming the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association to preserve, enhance and promote the educational values of interscholastic athletics through the professional growth and image of athletic administrators.

Some of the OIAAA’s earliest accomplishments included forming the first AD Advisory Committee to the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association.  This advisory committee was able to see the recommendations made by the various Coaches Advisory Committees to the OSSAA.  With the Committee’s oversight, they were able to improve upon the lines of communication between Athletic Directors, Coaches, and Staff Members at the OSSAA, as well as created accountability for all parties involved.  Other areas of accomplishments included financing scholarships for Athletic Director’s children, Athletic related scholarships for both male and female student/athletes, and national certifications for Athletic Directors involved in the organization.  The first Athletic Directors in the state of Oklahoma were Gil Cloud, Jim Sellers, and Tom Westbrook were the first Athletic Directors in Oklahoma to receive National Distinction as Certified Athletic Administrators, which was the highest honor bestowed upon AD’s at that time.  Since the inception of the National Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association certification program, there have been 56 Athletic Directors from across the state who have received the National Distinction of Certified Athletic Administrator and there are currently 7 AD’s, Melenda Knight from Broken Arrow, Jason Parker from Muskogee, Emily Barkley from Tulsa Union, Tony Dillingham from Jenks, Jason Culler from Jenks, Stephanie Blackwell from Bixby, and David Fisher (Retired), in Oklahoma who have earned national distinction as Certified Master Athletic Administrators-the highest certification awarded by the NIAAA.  There are 2 other AD’s who have completed certification requirements, and are awaiting the confirmation notice that they, too, have received the CMAA certification from the NIAAA-Steve Dunn from Broken Arrow, and Zach Duffield from Owasso.

Prior to the summer of 2019, the OIAAA board members would convene in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the annual Oklahoma Coaches Association Summer Clinic to select board members, hand out scholarships to the award recipients, present awards to scholar/athletes and Athletic Directors, and partake in professional development.  In the summer of 2019, the Board of Directors for the OIAAA separated from the Oklahoma Coaches Association’s annual clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma and held their Inaugural Oklahoma Athletic Director’s Conference at the Cox Convention Center in Downtown Oklahoma City.  There were over 150 Athletic Directors from across Oklahoma, as well as 40 vendors, who attended the inaugural event.  The inaugural event afforded AD’s from across the State to see presentations from some of the most recognized AD’s in the business-Dr. Derrck Gragg from the University of Tulsa, Kevin Henry from the University of Oklahoma, and the leading expert on Sports Law, Mr. Lee Green Professor Emeritus from Baker University.  Mr. David Jackson from the OSSAA also presented to the group the OSSAA’s eligibility workshop.  There were speakers from all across the state that helped make the inaugural event a huge success.  Because the OIAAA held their own event, the OIAAA Board of Director’s were able to offer NIAAA courses for certification, as well as the CAA Certification Exam itself.

The OIAAA’s purpose is to: promote the development and prestige of state and national athletic administrators and the interscholastic programs, preserve the educational nature of interscholastic athletics and the place of these programs in the curricula of schools, promote greater unity and fellowship among all its members, improve the educational aspects of interscholastic athletics in the total educational program, cooperate with the administrative head of the local school district organization, supervision and administration of the interscholastic athletic program, assist and cooperate with The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association in carrying out its Constitution and Rules of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association, support the athletic administrator’s efforts in providing quality athletic participation opportunities for students, and develop a state wide educational program using the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association curriculum.

Some of the most notable members of the OIAAA are Jim Sellers, Tom Westbrook, Don Walker, John Scott, Rene Huckaba, Steve Smiley, and Gil Cloud.