I first presented the idea of a signature award from the GADA to the Board of Directors in the Fall of 1997 or 1998. The idea was for the GADA Directors Cup to be modeled after what was then known as the NCAA’s Sears Directors Cup. I presented a points system that was discussed among the board and was eventually approved. In order to make sure I could accumulate results and report out to schools and media in a timely manner, I received the Board’s permission to run the scores for a Directors Cup for one year without the award being publicized. In other words, I maintained all the records, kept the Board informed of my progress, and eventually reported that I thought we could indeed make the award and reporting system work. We went “live” with the Award the next school year. (South Carolina contacted me the next year and modeled what they originally called the Wachovia Cup after our model – they used our exact format their first year)
The first couple of years, it was known only as the GADA Directors Cup. We reported it to all Georgia media outlets (newspaper, radio, & tv), the GHSA, and promoted the awards through our members, the website I started for GADA, and the GADA newsletter. (as late as 2002-2003 we were using a free server web site I maintained for the organization through Access Atlanta) Jostens helped us with the trophies and the banners. We did special recognition programs at all the winning schools with members of our Board of Directors making the presentation at school assemblies. Some winning schools did their ceremonies in the early fall of the next school year at assemblies or football games.
My relationship with Alan Sharp led to him acquiring Dodge as a corporate sponsor for our award. Dodge also worked with us to expand the award to each gender. (those first years were combined gender results only) It was also our work with Alan Sharp that led to me introducing him and his efforts to Dr. Swearngin and the GHSA office. You know the rest of that story. He now works as the corporate sponsor agent for GHSA. I originally was investigating with Alan Sharp the possibility of GADA helping all high schools in Georgia trademark their sports logos.
About the third or fourth year, I yielded the responsibilities of the Cup to newer members of the Board. All along, however, there were many board members instrumental in the development of the concept — most notably Tim Vick, Tommy Marshall, Bob Ward, and Stuart Todd. Although those were all private school guys, they were always concerned with the perception of fairness for public schools and private schools. This was one of the reasons there has always been a maximum number of counting sports for each gender to reduce what we called the “country club sport” effect (i.e., swimming, golf, tennis, gymnastics, and in the early days—volleyball and lacrosse). Our goal was always to make it fair, but to encourage athletic programs to grow more participation and expand their sports offerings.
The point system was revised a few years ago by the acting board members at that time. Some of those guys can give you more details on those steps. They were kind enough to invite me to a couple of lunch dates to discuss my opinions before they made the changes.
Cass High School
2003 GADA President