Former WNBA and Ole Miss women's basketball coach Van Chancellor speaks to attendees of the 20th Annual MAAA Conference in Biloxi. Photo by Keith Warren

Hellas-MAAA Conference educates, opens doors for athletic administrators

The 20th annual Hellas-Mississippi Athletic Administrators Conference from January 10-12 in Biloxi was a resounding success.

More than 230 school administrators and leaders from across the state registered for the 2018 conference, according to MAAA Executive Director Woody Barnett. They heard speakers on a wide variety of pertinent topics, ranging from internet live streaming and crisis management to mentoring young coaches and understanding school-related legal issues. There were breakout round table sessions as well.

“I thought it was a great conference,” Barnett said. “I think it has definitely become something that athletic administrators, principals and superintendents realize is necessary. I think one of the best things about clinics and conferences like this one is that everyone gets to sit down in the morning and the evening and trade ideas.”

MHSAA Executive Director Ennis Proctor and MHSAA Deputy Director N.Z. Bryant — both of whom retired in 2011 — were

Photo by Keith Warren
Photo by Keith Warren

inducted in the MAAA’s Hall of Fame, joining the retired Gulfport athletic director Lindy Callahan, who was the first inductee in 2017.

“Dr. Proctor and Coach Bryant were two giants in the field of education and athletics,” said Barnett, who served as a coach and AD at Pearl High School for 36 years.  “Going forward, we will have two inductees every year.”

In conjunction with the conference, four leadership training courses were taught on January 9.

“Once someone has completed those four courses, he or she is eligible to take the national certification test to become a Certified Athletic Administrator or CAA,” Barnett said. “I would like to see in our state that when an athletic administrator does become certified, there would be an opportunity for a pay raise. That’s the same way it is with a nationally certified teacher.”

There also were nearly 50 vendor booths at the conference, Barnett said. Partners and sponsors for the conference included Hellas Sports Construction, BSN Sports and the Mississippi Braves.

“That’s big to have partners,” Barnett said. “Those are the things that allow you do something extra because of their support. Amy Champion and Hellas Sports Construction came in as our title sponsor. She said she definitely wants to stick with us. She felt the MAAA was an organization that she really wants to support in Mississippi.”


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