One of the goals of the GADA from its very beginning was to be “all-inclusive” in representing athletic directors throughout the state of Georgia. Buddy Knapp was instrumental in helping the GADA to fulfill that goal. While representing tiny, Mt. Zion High School in Carroll County, Knapp was a giant among athletic directors.
Knapp was a GADA member for 15 years and served on the GADA Board of Directors from 1989 until his retirement in 2003. During his tenure on the GADA Board of Directors, Buddy played a key role in the organization’s moving its state conference to the campus of Georgia Southern University. Once the conference was being hosted in Statesboro, Knapp worked tirelessly in negotiating with GSU to continue as a hosting partner for the annual conference.
As GADA President, Knapp conducted a statewide survey that was instrumental in helping the Georgia High School Association to make a decision to move from 4 classifications to 5 classifications.
Knapp was recognized for his efforts by being named Region Athletic Director of the Year in 1992, Class A Athletic Director of the Year in 1994, and the All-Classifications Athletic Director of the Year in 2000. He also received the NIAAA Meritorious Service Award for the state of Georgia in 2002.
While at Mt. Zion, Knapp will also be remembered for the fact that he authored and implemented the first drug-testing program at any Georgia High School. This testing program has served as a model for high schools in Alabama, Kansas, and Alaska just to mention a few.
In addition to the accomplishments listed above, Knapp was active in the GADA when the organization started offering ten-year certificates of merit to qualified athletic directors, began offering dual NIAAA and GADA memberships, and coordinated volunteers for service during the 1996 Olympic Games.