Leffingwell elected OHSAA Board President

SARAHSVILLE — Dan Leffingwell is certainly no stranger to prep sports.

Whether it was as a coach or school administrator, Leffingwell has basically seen it all.

The current Noble Local Superintendent is now, however, about to into a new position.

Leffingwell was recently voted as the president of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors and will oversee his first meeting with the group Thursday in Columbus.

“This year will be exciting,” Leffingwell said. “It’s fun to be a prt of this group during the first year’s Jerry (Snodgrass’) transition. I believe his vision is becoming more and more clear. I just hope I am able to be a positive representative for Noble Local and all of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio.”

While the actual meeting is Thursday, Leffingwell — and the entire Board of Directors — will convene on Wednesday for a “work session.”

“In this position, I’ll be working more as a liaison between the office staff and board of directors, facilitating meetings and be more involved with developing the agenda for the meetings,” Leffingwell noted.

Leffingwell, who serves as the president of the Eastern District Athletic Board, is on the state board as the Class A representative from the district.

“One of my personal goals is to simply continue working with a team that’s about improving education-based athletics,” Leffingwell said. “I have no personal agenda for this (position). I am just excited to help do a small part in helping the OHSAA continue to provide its great service to member schools, athletes and coaches.”

Leffingwell, who worked in the Warren Local School District prior to coming to Shenandoah, is in his second year of a two-year term with the OHSAA’s Board of Directors.

“I served as just a board member last year and now I’ve been elected by my peers to serve in this role for this coming year,” Leffingwell said.

Snodgrass and the OHSAA have been working to develop a strategic plan for the future of the OHSAA. Like so many entities, a big topic of future plans is finances.

“Our greatest challenge we’re going to face, like most people, is fiscal sustainability,” Leffingwell admitted. “More than 80 percent of the OHSAA’s finances are based on gate receipts from the tournament events. And as most realize, there are a lot of variables involved there, so it definitely remains a challenge.”

Unlike many state associations in the United States, the OHSAA doesn’t charge its member schools dues or tournament entry fees. Plus, it covers the catastrophic insurance.

“The association does so many things for member schools that folks sometimes take for granted,” Leffingwell said. “There are always issues to resolve, but the bottom line is being committed to maintaining the first-class service that the OHSAA provides to its customers, which are the member schools, student-athletes, coaches and communities of this state.”

During his tenture with both the Eastern and Southeast District boards, Leffingwell has served on multiple committees within the OHSAA, including the competitive balance committee.

“Competitive balance is always a topic of discussion,” Leffingwell said. “The OHSAA is always looking at how it’s going, how we can continually improve upon it. It’s for all schools and any changes affect everyone in the association, so part of the committee’s job is to look at tweaks and adjustments.”

The OHSAA — especially since Snodgrass has taken over as the executive director (formerly known as commissioner) — has become even more transparent with its membership.

“I am excited about the direction that Jerry (Snodgrass), and all of the office staff, has things moving,” Leffingwell said. “They’re very capable and passionate people (working at the OHSAA). They all have a vision for the future and they no personal agenda. They’re all about the schools in this state.”

Prior to becoming a superintendent, Leffingwell was a principal and also an athletic administrator. He also coached multiple sports during his career, including basketball and golf.

Since getting into administration, he’s spent 20 years involved with the OHSAA via the district athletic boards before ascending to the state board for the first time during the 2018-19 school year.

Leffingwell has also served on the OVAC’s Executive Board.