October 10, 2023

Contact: Geoff Kimmerly
517.332.5046 or [email protected]

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Oct. 10 – Recent public school retirees including those serving as coaches, game officials and in other sports-related roles will be able to continue doing so for limited compensation after the signing of a bill Tuesday, Oct. 10, by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer allowing those retirees to receive limited compensation without having their retirement benefits affected.  

Public Act 147 (PA 147) amends PA 184, which was signed into law July 25, 2022, and required a retiring public school employee to wait nine months before being rehired – effectively sidelining several longtime coaches, officials and others who play substantial roles in school sports all over the state.

PA 147 instead allows recent retirees to work for a public school district during the first six months of retirement as long as the individual earns less than $15,100 during a calendar year. The great majority of coaches, officials and others who contribute to school sports – public-address announcers, team bus drivers, scoreboard operators and other game managers, for example – earn far less compensation than that maximum allowed with this bill.

Soon after the signing of PA 184 during the summer of 2022, the Michigan High School Athletic Association met with the state’s Office of Retirement Services and several legislators seeking ways to allow public school retirees to remain employed in athletics without that nine-month pause, or without having to work and not be paid. (Prior to PA 184, retirees were required to be detached from a school district for only 30 days before being rehired at less than 30 percent of their compensation at the time of retirement. This allowed most retirees to do so at the end of a school year and then return after 30 days to continue coaching, officiating, etc.)

MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl and Assistant Director Cody Inglis, and Brighton athletic director John Thompson – who serves on the MHSAA Representative Council – all testified in support of PA 147, which was sponsored by 13 legislators from the Michigan House of Representatives and introduced by Rep. Matt Koleszar from Plymouth.

"This new public act fixes the biggest MHSAA concern that recent retirees could not return to coach or officiate during their bona fide retirement period," Uyl said. "Our schools desperately need these experienced and knowledgeable people to continue contributing to athletics, and we're pleased that they'll have that opportunity." 

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.