Representative Voices

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is governed by a Representative Council of 18 members and a designee of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. It is important that this representative body actually be representative of the group it serves.

Of the 18 regular members of the Representative Council,

  • 16 have served as high school athletic directors, with an average tenure of 16.5 years. Eight have also served as junior high/middle school athletic directors, with an average tenure of 11.7 years.
  • 11 have served as high school assistant principals, averaging 6.2 years.
  • 5 have served as high school principals, averaging 6.4 years.
  • 3 have served as junior high/middle school principals, averaging 11.7 years.
  • 3 have served as superintendents or assistant superintendents, averaging 4.7 years.
  • 17 of the 18 have served as high school coaches, with an average tenure of 6.9 years. Seven have also served as middle school coaches, with an average tenure of 7.6 years.
  • 11 have been MHSAA registered officials. The average tenure has been 13.1 years, in an average of 2.1 sports.

To assure representation of both large and small schools in all parts of the state, the MHSAA Constitution requires that four Council members be elected from the Class A and B schools in four different geographic regions, and four be elected from Class C and D schools from those four geographic sections.

Five other Council members are elected by statewide votes, with two of those specifically designated persons serving junior high/middle schools, and one representing private and parochial schools. The public schools within the city of Detroit also have a representative.

To assure representation from females and minorities that might not occur through the election process, the MHSAA Constitution requires that the Council examine its makeup after each election and appoint up to a maximum of four persons at any one time to help address those deficiencies. The Council sometimes uses this appointment process to bring better representation to a part of the state that is underrepresented through the election process.

It goes almost without saying that nearly all of the Council members participated in competitive school sports and are the parents of participants in interscholastic athletics.

All in all, it’s a team with breadth and depth that touches most of the constituent bases of high school sports in Michigan.


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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.