Wulkow now president-elect of NFHS

Press release from iahsaa.org:


Richard “Rick” Wulkow, IHSAA Executive Director, has been honored with his second national leadership position in two months.

At the National Federation of High School Association’s Summer Meeting in San Diego, CA recently, their Board of Directors elected him to the position of president-elect for the upcoming year, with a move to President in July 2011. He earlier was selected as President of Board of Directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) for the 2010-11 year.

The positions plunge him and Iowa into a national leadership spotlight. Both positions are in concert with his duties as the IHSAA Executive Director, which he will retain. The IHSAA Board of Control has granted him the time to perform the duties of his positions the next two years.

The NFHS serves its members, related professional organizations and all students by providing leadership for the administration of education-based activities, which support academic achievement, good citizenship and equitable opportunities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“First, I am humbled and honored that my colleagues on the Board of Directors have elected me to this position,” Wulkow said. “The support of our IHSAA Board of Control is critical in allowing me to serve a larger NFHS role the next two years.”

This year he will assist President Nina Van Erk, executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, in accomplishing NFHS Board goals, chair various committees, and serve on the new Strategic Plan Committee which will emphasize the articulation of the NFHS Plan for the next five years.

Since becoming the IHSAA Executive Director in 1980 he has maintained a strong involvement with the NFHS, and its role in high school activities. He has been a member of the organizations Strategic Planning Committee and a member of the Board of Directors, representing Section 4 (Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan). Throughout his career, he has advocated that educational activities for students is the true other half of a student’s education with academic programs being first and foremost. The enjoining of all of Iowa’s activities organizations and developing Conduct Count Initiatives for all people connected with education-based activities and events has proven to be a valuable tool for the member schools.

He is the third Iowan to serve the NFHS in this leadership capacity. Dr. Earl Berge, Fort Dodge Superintendent of Schools and a member of the Board of Control, was President, 1974-75 and Bernie Saggau, former executive director, served in 1989-90.

Wulkow received his bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University and his master’s degree in school administration from the University of South Dakota.

Prior to joining the IHSAA, he was a teacher and football, track and baseball coach at Radcliffe (1967-70) and Denison (1970-75), where he also was athletic director. He then was an assistant football coach at the University of South Dakota for two years before returning to the high school level as the principal at Paullina High School (1977-78) and Jefferson High School (1978-80).

He started at the IHSAA in the summer of 1980 as an Assistant Executive Director. He quickly established himself as an administrative leader in the comprehensive day-to-day operation of the Athletic Association. He worked extensively with administrators, coaches associations and advisory groups in crafting and implementing changes regarding safety in sports, sportsmanship and improvement of officiating. He has served on NFHS football and basketball rules committees and chaired the basketball rules committee. Additionally he has served the NFHS with a term on its records committee. He has earned NFHS Service and Contribution honors in basketball, football, and spirit groups.

During his educational career, Wulkow was a highly respected prep and collegiate basketball official for almost 30 years. He worked 11 postseason collegiate tournaments, including five with the NCAA. He was also an interim commissioner and supervisor of officials for the Iowa Intercollegiate Conference and also served as an observer of football and basketball officials for the Big 12 Conference, as well as an officials’ scout for the National Football League.

A native of Lytton, Iowa, Wulkow was an outstanding high school and college student-athlete, earning Buena Vista’s Ibach Award for athletic and academic excellence. He was inducted into the Buena Vista University Hall-of-Fame in 1975.

Since 1980, he has remained active in church and community affairs in Boone. He has served as the chairperson for the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church, serves on the Board of the Boone Education Endowment Fund, the Iowa Sports Foundation Board of Directors, the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, and is a member of the Iowa Schoolmasters’ Walt Whitman Club.

He and his wife Barbara of 43 years have raised three adult daughters — Sally (Dighton) of Boone, Wendy (Postel) of Urbandale and Holly (Anderson) of Ankeny. The Wulkow’s’ are the proud grandparents of five grandsons and two granddaughters.

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