The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors has named Jerry Snodgrass as the OHSAA’s next Executive Director. Snodgrass will assume leadership duties in September when Dr. Dan Ross steps down after 14 years at the helm. Snodgrass will be the OHSAA’s 10th leader in its 111th year of service to Ohio schools.
A native of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Snodgrass served as a teacher, coach and administrator at schools including Defiance, Morral Ridgedale, Bryan and Findlay, where he served for 25 years, including 16 as athletic director. He has been on the OHSAA staff since 2008, first as an Assistant Director and then Director of Sport Management.
“We have an enormous responsibility in education-based athletics and I am ready to take that on,” Snodgrass said. “I have had a great mentor here and great mentors along the way to prepare me. No individual in this profession is successful without the help of others. We have a great staff and they will be an integral part of developing our annual goals, while always keeping in mind our mission statement to provide educational opportunities for the students through participation in sports. The success of our student-athletes is not possible without the thousands of coaches and administrators on the front lines and we need to help our coaches and administrators make this happen.”
Paul Powers, OHSAA Board of Directors President and the athletic director at Aurora High School in Northeast Ohio, noted that the connection Snodgrass has with Ohio’s schools was key to the decision.
“Jerry has established great relationships with so many people and schools throughout Ohio,” Powers said. “He is very respected across the state and has been a leader within the OHSAA community for a long time, including the last 11 years in the state office. Jerry has not only been the administrator for many of the OHSAA sanctioned sports, but he has brought new ideas, especially in the areas of sportsmanship and tournament management. We are excited to see the direction of the Association in the years to come.”
Powers and the Board of Directors conducted the search, which included input from the OHSAA staff.
A 31-year veteran in education prior to joining the OHSAA in 2008, Snodgrass has served as the administrator for various sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse and hockey. He also serves a major role as the OHSAA’s main liaison with athletic administrators and oversees the OHSAA’s nationally recognized “Golden Megaphone” program to promote sportsmanship within student sections at basketball games, along with creating “Military Appreciation Night.”
Snodgrass began his career in 1977 as teacher and coach at Defiance High School. He moved on to teach and become the head boys basketball coach at Ridgedale High School between 1980 and 1982 before serving as a teacher and middle school athletic director in the Bryan City Schools during the 1982-83 school year.
Snodgrass was hired by the Findlay City Schools in 1983 to teach physical science and he also served as an assistant boys varsity basketball coach. In 1991, he was promoted to the head boys basketball coach at Findlay, continuing in that role through 1999. Overall, he spent 25 years at Findlay, the last 16 as the school’s athletic director. Snodgrass was elected to serve on the OHSAA’s Northwest District Athletic Board for many years and served a two-year term on the OHSAA Board of Directors between 2005-07. He was the Board of Directors president during in 2006-07 school year. Snodgrass also has been a trustee with the OHSAA Foundation, is a member of the OHSAA’s Sportsmanship, Ethics & Integrity Committee, and currently serves on the University of Findlay’s Sport & Hospitality Management Advisory Board and the Wilson Football Hall of Fame.
The Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association inducted Snodgrass into its Hall of Fame in October 2010, the same year he was selected as the OHSAA’s Naismith Meritorious Service Award. This past March, Snodgrass received the OHSAA’s prestigious Ethics and Integrity Award.
A 1973 graduate of Upper Sandusky High School, Snodgrass earned his bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in 1977 and a master’s degree for the University of Dayton in 1989. He and his wife Barb, who is Director of Clinical Risk Management for a major health organization, have two grown children, a grandson and granddaughter.
In January, Dr. Ross announced he would serve through Sept. 15. He began his duties as the OHSAA’s ninth commissioner on Aug. 1, 2004 and hired Snodgrass in August 2008. Ross worked in education as a teacher, administrator and official since 1971, spanning a career of 48 years.