Retired AD Smith to Receive NFHS Honor

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

November 26, 2019

Retired longtime athletic director Fred Smith has been selected to receive a Citation from the National Federation of State High School Associations during the 50th National Athletic Directors Conference sponsored by the NFHS and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) on Dec. 16 in National Harbor, Md.

NFHS Citations are presented annually to outstanding athletic directors in recognition of contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. State associations nominate athletic directors for NFHS Citations, and the NFHS Board of Directors approves recipients.

A 1979 graduate of Western Michigan University, Smith began his career at St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic Schools, serving for 11 years. In 1991, he joined Comstock Public Schools, where he served for 16 years. Smith move to Buchanan Community Schools in 2007, where he remained until 2015 before departing for his final stop as athletic director at Benton Harbor for two years. He retired in 2017, serving 38 years total as a teacher, coach and administrator, and resides in Stevensville.

Among his accomplishments, Smith instituted awards programs to recognize three-sport (or more) student-athletes who participated for their full, four-year high school career. Additionally, he assisted with the development of an evaluation tool for coaches and helped provide funding for coaches to attend the MHSAA's Coaches Advancement Program.

Smith was a member of the MHSAA Representative Council from 2005 to 2017, including the final four years as vice president. He also served on several MHSAA committees, and he hosted countless MHSAA District and Regional tournaments. With the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA), he has served as chair of its Professional Development Committee as well as a member of its executive board from 1993 to 1998.

Smith was a member of the NIAAA Board of Directors (1996-98), Credentials Committee (1989-96) and Hall of Fame Screening Committee (2010-18). He has been heavily involved in the NIAAA’s Leadership Training Institute. He is national course chair for LTC 501, and he has presented Leadership Training Courses in 14 states. Smith also served on the NIAAA Executive Director Search Committee, and he has attended 34 National Athletic Directors Conferences.

Smith has been honored with numerous awards. He has previously received the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award, the NIAAA Thomas E. Frederick Award of Excellence, the NIAAA Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award, and the MHSAA Charles E. Forsythe Award.

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

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.