The new leader of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union is in his first full week on the job after taking over the position last Friday at the start of the month. Mike Dick was the associate director before being named the new executive director to replace Troy Dannen who left to become the athletic director at U.N.I.
Dick doesn’t expect any sudden change in operations for now. Dick says he had a good teacher in Dannen and former director E. Wayne Cooley, and says he believes in collaboration and teamwork. He says the makeup of Iowa’s schools is one of the big challenges facing the union.
Dick says school demographics, with school mergers and sharing is something they are keeping an eye on as less districts mean less ballgames and less tickets and ultimately less money. Dick says the high cost of fuel is one immediate concern. He says they’ll likely hear from schools and referees to keep them as close to home as possible in pairings because of the high gas prices.
Dick says they’ll also take a close look at the staff and ways to restructure duties to try and best match people’s talents and abilities with the sports they’re doing. For example, Dick says he was in charge of six sports and assigning referees, and it may be better to spread those sports out to more staff.
Iowa is unique in having a separate boys and girls association overseeing athletics and two associations overseeing speech and music activities. Dick doesn’t see that changing right now. Dick says as long as they can adequately serve the female athletes the way they are, things will stay the same.
But he says realistically some day there may be a need to pursue some sort of reorganization among the groups, "But obviously, we don’t want to do that until we have to." Dick is a native of Winterset and a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa.