IHSA names Craig Anderson next executive director

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The Illinois High School Association announced Tuesday that Craig Anderson will take over for executive director Mary Hickman when Hickman retires on January 18, 2016.

Anderson, a 1987 graduate of Cambridge High School in Cambridge, Ill., becomes the seventh executive director in the organization’s history.

“I am excited, proud and humbled,” Anderson said in a statement. “I have incredibly big shoes to fill, but certainly look forward to that challenge. Dating back to my time as a teacher, coach and administrator, I have always had an affinity for the IHSA and its mission. I said in 2010 that working for the IHSA was a dream job. To ascend to the Executive Director role is beyond words.”

Anderson was selected by a committee of IHSA board members, IHSA staff members and representatives from the Illinois Athletic Directors Association and the Illinois Directors of Student Activities.

“Craig has shown tremendous leadership in his time at the IHSA,” IHSA Board President Dan Klett said in a statement. “We considered and interviewed several impressive candidates, both internally and externally, but the committee came away from Craig’s interview confident that his experience, both in the high school and since joining the IHSA, makes him the right person to lead the IHSA into its next era.”

Anderson was the Athletic Director at Washington High School in Washington, Ill. from 2005 to 2010, where he was in charge of all facets of the athletic department, including budgeting and hiring coaches. While at Washington, he was a member of the IHSA Athletic Administrators Advisory Committee, IHSA Legislative Commission and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Anderson came to Washington after four years at Olympia High School in Stanford, Ill., where he taught mathematics and served as the head football coach for two seasons, before assuming the role of Activities Director from 2002-2005. He started his career in education as a mathematics teacher at Morton High School, where he was also hired as a football, basketball and track & field coach.

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