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Opportunities Abound

This weekend – for the 23rd time – the Michigan High School Athletic Association will host its Women in Sports Leadership Conference. The event is Feb. 4 and 5 at Crowne Plaza Lansing West.

Featured speakers are USA National Volleyball Team member Alisha Glass, who starred at Leland High School; University of Michigan’s Carol Hutchins, the winningest coach in NCAA softball history; and Michigan State University Women’s Volleyball Coach Cathy George, who is just off a season when the Spartans reached the NCAA Elite Eight.

But the real juice for this inspiring event is the energy of 550 students and the investment of our schools’ coaches and administrators to facilitate the attendance of these students.

Students will learn leadership skills for today and be exposed to a variety of career opportunities in athletics. Sports in general and school sports in particular continue to have far fewer female contest officials, coaches, administrators and athletic trainers than we need. This weekend’s program is another effort to inspire change.

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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.