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Melanie Miller Named Recipient
Of 2006 Women In Sports Leadership Award

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Jan. 5 – Melanie Miller, who taught, coached and served as an athletic administrator in the Lansing Public Schools for 33 years, has been named the recipient of the 2006 Women In Sports Leadership Award by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Miller is pictured here receiving the award from MHSAA Representative Council President Paul Ellinger, Cheboygan Area Schools Superintendent.

Each year the Representative Council considers the achievements of women coaches, officials and athletic administrators affiliated with the MHSAA who show exemplary leadership capabilities and positive contributions to athletics. The award will be presented during a banquet at the 2006 Women In Sports Leadership Conference on Feb. 12, in Lansing .

Miller was part of a group of female coaches that was literally on the ground floor when girls sports began booming in the early 1970s; an early pioneer as an female athletic administrator in the late 1970's; an overseer of unprecedented growth for girls and boys athletic opportunities through the next two decades; and also a statewide leader in athletic administration circles, completing a stint as president of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) as she retired from her duties at Sexton High School at the conclusion of the 2004-05 school year.

A graduate of Comstock High School where her father, Larry Pickett, was the athletic director for 32 years, Miller earned Bachelor's Degrees in Physical Education and Biology in 1972, and later received her Master's in Exercise Physiology in 1983. At a time when girls sports were coming on the scene and when Lansing had four high schools, Miller coached four sports at Hill High School on the city's Southwest side.

In 1978, Miller became the assistant athletic director in charge of girls sports at Sexton High School , where she also served as a teacher. She became the school's athletic director in 1987, where she served as tournament director for over 200 MHSAA events at all levels, and was a member of numerous Association committees.

Through the MIAAA, Miller was recognized as a Regional Athletic Director of the Year in 1991, and received five Dedicated Service Awards. And for as much as she received, she gave back - serving on various MIAAA committees, as a regional representative, and finally as president of the organization. Her work with MIAAA continues as a life member of the organization.

Miller is also active as a treasurer of two golf leagues in the Lansing area, a member of the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame selection committee, a board member of the Downtown Coaches Club, and a member of the Michigan State University Varsity S Club.

"The generation of women of sports leadership which ushered girls athletic opportunities into our high schools is one to which we owe much gratitude. Even more is owed to those who helped blaze the trail and then stayed to nurture the nature of school sports for all of its young participants," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. "In Melanie Miller, we honor a true leader; a leader who worked hard, who was gracious, and who helped develop the next generation of sports leadership."

Miller is the 17 th recipient of the Women In Sports Leadership Award. Past recipients are:

1990 - Carol Seavoy, L'Anse
1991 - Diane Laffey, Harper Woods
1992 - Patricia Ashby, Scotts
1993 - Jo Lake , Grosse Pointe
1994 - Brenda Gatlin, Detroit
1995 - Jane Bennett, Ann Arbor
1996 - Cheryl Amos-Helmicki, Huntington Woods
1997 - Delores L. Elswick, Detroit
1998 - Karen S. Leinaar, Delton
1999 - Kathy McGee, Flint
2000 - Pat Richardson, Grass Lake
2001 - Suzanne Martin, East Lansing
2002 - Susan Barthold, Kentwood
2003 - Nancy Clark, Flint
2004 - Kathy Vruggink Westdorp, Grand Rapids
2005 - Barbara Redding, Capac

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,800 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 approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.



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