KSHSAA Executive Director Gary Musselman Announces He Will Retire In July, 2018

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TOPEKA, Kan. – The KSHSAA Executive Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting on January 11 where KSHSAA Executive Director Gary Musselman announced his plans to retire in July of 2018.

“I have been carefully considering my retirement decision like everyone must at some point. A significant part of that deliberation is based on what is in the best interests of the KSHSAA and its’ member schools. Stepping down at the end of next school year gives our Executive Board time to take the steps they need to identify an Executive Director-Elect. I am committed to working with my successor to ensure a successful transition.”

Musselman joined the KSHSAA as an Assistant Executive Director in 1988 and served in that capacity until he was selected to serve as Executive Director-Elect in 1995. Musselman began his duties as Executive Director in the 1996-97 school year. “The conclusion of the 2017-18 school year will mark my 30th year serving on the KSHSAA staff and my 43rd year as a Kansas educator. It has been a privilege to serve the students and schools of Kansas.” Musselman is the sixth Executive Director in the history of the KSHSAA, following Kaye Pearce (1993-1996), Nelson Hartman (1976-1993), Brice Durbin (1962-1976), Carl Kopelk (1957-1962) and E.A. Thomas (1927-1957).

“In my youth and early career as a teacher and coach, I knew little about the KSHSAA, and certainly would never have envisioned the opportunity to serve as Executive Director. During my twenty-nine years I have learned and benefitted tremendously from working with colleagues across the state and throughout the nation. My decision to set a retirement date is not based on health nor problems of any kind. It is simply time to put my family first and allow myself time to enjoy another phase of life while I have the health and time to do so,” said Musselman. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve Kansas schools and students for 30 years.”

Musselman’s career with the KSHSAA reflects numerous enhancements to programs, services and student participation. In 2002, the KSHSAA opened its new headquarters office building, and in 1997 Kansas became only the second state in the nation to implement a student advisory committee to provide input to the Association. Musselman also introduced strategic planning to the KSHSAA. Service award programs recognizing officials were implemented and recognition awards for coaches, sponsors, directors and administrators were expanded. Boys and girls bowling championships were created along with a new cheerleading competition slated for the fall of 2017, known as Gameday. Under Musselman’s guidance numerous changes to postseason playoff formats have been instituted and educational requirements for coaches and athletic administrators have been elevated. In recent years, the KSHSAA has established a standing sports medicine advisory committee and has imposed educational requirements promoting awareness of health and safety issues in all of its sports for students, parents, coaches and administrators.

Throughout his career, Musselman has been active at the national level. He currently serves as a Board of Director member and President of the (NFHS) National Federation of State High School Associations which includes all 51 state high school associations. In 2015, Musselman completed a six year term on the Board of Directors of the NFHS Foundation and served as Chair of that body in his final year. He served on three NFHS Strategic Planning Committees, the Appeals Committee, the Football Rules Committee and chaired the Sportsmanship/Wellness Committee. In addition, Musselman was a frequent presenter at NFHS national meetings and conferences and presented for the U.S. Olympic Committee on coaching education programs in Colorado Springs.

“The KSHSAA is viewed nationally as an outstanding state association and Mr. Musselman deserves credit for maintaining and advancing the quality of programs, services and stature of the Association, said KSHSAA President, Juan Perez, Principal of Kepley Middle School in Ulysses. “Gary has guided the KSHSAA through many challenging issues during his tenure with integrity, professionalism and humility while working to implement positive changes in our athletic and activity programs. We are sad to see his tenure come to an end, but he will always be an important part of the legacy of the KSHSAA and the KSHSAA family.”

A native of Ness City, Kansas, Musselman graduated from Ness City High School and earned his undergraduate degree in secondary education from Kansas State University with honors. Following teaching and coaching stints in Independence, Andover, Beloit and Halstead, Musselman completed his Master’s degree in secondary school administration from Wichita State University with honors and joined the staff of the KSHSAA in 1988 after serving as Principal of LaCrosse High School.

The KSHSAA Executive Board announced that a timeline and process for determining Musselman’s successor will be released in the near future.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.