Ross Named Broadcast & Media Coordinator

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 19, 2021

Jon Ross, bringing vast experience in video production and after working both as television media and in media relations, has been added to the Michigan High School Athletic Association staff as broadcast & media coordinator, a role in which he’ll focus primarily on video production, day-to-day efforts by the MHSAA Network and other communications duties.

Jon RossRoss, who began at the MHSAA in late December, is taking on many of the duties formerly handled by John Johnson, who retired Dec. 18 after 33 years as communications director and then director of broadcast properties.

Ross’s variety of past experiences already have served the MHSAA well during his first weeks in his new position. In addition to generating “This Week in High School Sports” played on more than 100 radio stations statewide and the “MHSAA Minute” produced weekly with State Champs! Sports Network, Ross stepped in almost immediately to direct MHSAA Network broadcasts of Fall playoffs that were restarted in January and worked with FOX Sports Detroit for its production of the 8 and 11-Player Football Finals during Jan. 16 and Jan. 22-23, respectively.

“Jon has been a wonderful addition to our team,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “His background in video production will serve the MHSAA well, and he’s done an outstanding job jumping in mid-stream with our Final fall tournaments being completed in January followed by an immediate move to winter events. Jon is a terrific addition to the MHSAA team.”

Ross began his media career in June 1999 at the first of three television sports department stops, a string that concluded with his tenure as a reporter and anchor from 2002-05 for WILX in Lansing.

Most recently, Ross served from Feb. 2018 until this past December as a communications representative and senior editor for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, for which he helped manage development of statewide campaigns including “Click It Or Ticket” and “Drive Sober, Get Pulled Over.” In addition to content creation, Ross worked in media relations including as occasional spokesperson for the OHSP, along with managing budgets and execution of federally-funded campaigns and serving as chairperson of the 2019 Michigan Traffic Safety Summit which drew nearly 500 attendees.

At the MHSAA, Ross’s responsibilities also will include providing content for the Association’s websites including the fan-focused Second Half, managing and eventually media credentialing and other on-site communications functions at MHSAA events.

“My time working in sports never seemed like work, and I’m excited for the opportunity to be part of what the MHSAA is building as it continues to expand coverage especially with video and other digital ventures,” Ross said. “I’ve known John Johnson going back to my time in the media, and I can appreciate even more now the work he did in making the MHSAA a national leader in promoting school athletics. I hope my experiences will help us build on what he created as we continue to engage more with our schools and specifically athletes, coaches, officials and families to tell our story.” 

Ross was born in Escanaba and is a 1995 graduate of Saginaw Heritage High School and 1999 graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with specialty in kinesiology.

Crowley, Lintner & Smelis Named 2022 Bush Award Recipients

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

August 11, 2022

Lowell’s Deanne Crowley, Owosso’s Dallas Lintner and Fenton’s Mitch Smelis all have provided more than two decades of service to Michigan educational athletics, Crowley as a highly-regarded coach and administrator, Lintner also as an administrator and educational leader and Smelis as an athletic trainer and prominent voice in the sports medicine community especially in its service to school sports.

To recognize their significant and continued contributions to educational athletics, Crowley, Lintner and Smelis have been named recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Allen W. Bush Award for 2022.

Al Bush served as executive director of the MHSAA for 10 years. The award honors individuals for past and continuing service to school athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. The award was developed to bring recognition to people who are giving and serving without a lot of attention. This is the 31st year of the award, with selections made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.

Crowley began her coaching career at Lake Odessa Lakewood in 1987 with subvarsity basketball, and she took over Lowell’s girls varsity program in 2000 after previously beginning her teaching career there in 1998. She remained the Red Arrows’ coach through 2006, that season leading her team to the Class A Semifinals – and she also was named Class A Coach of Year in 2004 by The Associated Press. Crowley became an assistant principal at Lowell in 2010 and the high school’s athletic director in 2013.

Deanne CrowleyShe earned her certified athletic administrator designation from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) in 2018 and was named Region 4 Athletic Director of the Year this past school year by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA). Previously, she was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Michigan Wrestling Association for the 2018-19 school year and by the West Michigan Officials Association in 2021. Crowley also is a significant contributor to Lowell’s nationally-recognized Pink Arrow Pride program that raises funds annually for cancer awareness, education and support within the Lowell community; she organizes and coordinates the education program, which among other goals provides scholarships for Lowell graduates pursuing careers in medicine. She also was a co-founder in 2000 of the Lady Arrows Varsity Club, which provides leadership training for female student-athletes who have earned a varsity letter.

Crowley graduated from Lakewood High School in 1983 and earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Western Michigan University in 1997 and a master’s in educational administration from Michigan State University in 2002.

“I have known Dee for over 20 years, and she has always been incredibly dedicated to finding opportunities for all students, especially female student-athletes,” Uyl said. “Her years as a coach and administrator have shown a solid record of finding ways for kids to compete.”

Lintner is returning to Owosso High School as principal this fall after finishing the second half of 2021-22 as interim athletic director at Fenton High School. He first joined the staff at Owosso as a teacher in 2001-02, went to Linden as athletic director for two years beginning with fall of 2008, then returned to Owosso as athletic director and assistant principal from 2010 through the 2020-21 school year. He served as principal at Owosso Lincoln High School last school year until leaving for Fenton.

Dallas LintnerEducation has been a focus of Lintner’s work, and he received a doctorate in educational leadership from University of Michigan-Flint in 2017. He has a certified master athletic administrator designation and has served as a leadership training instructor for the NIAAA since 2015. He also has served as a facilitator for the Love and Logic parenting program.

Lintner has been an active participant with the MIAAA as well, serving as its constitution committee chairperson since 2009. He was a member of the executive board from 2015-20, including serving as president during the 2018-19 school year. As athletic director, he was a frequent host of MHSAA postseason events and a contributor to various committees, and he previously was an MHSAA registered official for track & field and coach in multiple sports. Prior to earning his doctorate, Lintner graduated from Vassar High School in 1995, then earned a bachelor's degree in education from Saginaw Valley State University in 2000 and a master’s in athletic administration from Central Michigan University in 2005.

“Dallas has provided years of solid leadership in Owosso,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “This consistent approach has led to numerous improvements, and during his tenure as athletic director his school won its first state championship, with the softball program (in 2021).”

Smelis has served as an athletic trainer for 25 years with Fenton Area Public Schools, for the last decade through NovaCare Rehabilitation. He was named High School Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society (MATS) in 2017 and serves as co-chairperson of its Secondary School Committee.

Mitch SmelisAlso a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association (GLATA), Smelis has become a key connection between the training community and MHSAA. He has contributed as a MATS liaison on multiple MHSAA sport committees, and serves on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and as an instructor for the MHSAA’s Coaches Advancement Program (CAP). He also has presented at the MIAAA’s annual and summer conferences on a variety of physical health and safety and mental health topics.

Smelis graduated from Imlay City High School in 1991 and earned a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Central Michigan University in 1997. He is a certified American Heart Association instructor for CPR, first aid and basic life support and has served as lead instructor in CPR and first aid for Fenton’s coaches and staff.

“Mitch has been incredibly dedicated to keeping kids safe while playing all sports,” Uyl said. “He also has been responsible for further strengthening the good relationship between the MHSAA and Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society, and he continues to provide valuable insight as part of our coaches education efforts.”