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Snodgrass’ passion for prep sports will be missed at OHSAA

T-L File Photo/SETH STASKEY JERRY SNODGRASS, the former OHSAA Executive Director, speaks during a press conference held in March in Columbus. Snodgrass “resigned” from his position Monday.

COLUMBUS — Jerry Snodgrass loves the state of Ohio, high school sports and above all he’s extremely passionate about kids.

When you throw in the facts that he saw prep sports from basically every angle possible — player, coach, athletic administrator — during his career, it became clear that he was the ideal candidate to serve as the executive director of Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Unfortunately, his tenure with the OHSAA came to an end Monday evening when the organization announced Snodgrass had “resigned” after two years.

An outpouring of support soon followed as the news made its way all over social media to the point that Snodgrass and the OHSAA were both trending on Twitter.

Many area athletic administrators and coaches had gotten to know Snodgrass quite well during his tenure of more than a decade with OHSAA.

Here’s a look at what some other area athletic directors and coaches had to say about Snodgrass:

JOHN TRIVERI, Shadyside Athletics Director – Mr. Snodgrass was always very helpful to me, especially when I first started as A.D. back in 2012. I emailed him numerous times with questions and he was never too busy to help.

KELLY RINE, retired St. Clairsville Athletics Director — Personally, I do not have enough superlatives to describe my feelings about Jerry Snodgrass. He is the consummate professional and worked for all students and schools in our state. He is CLASS personified and did an absolutely phenomenal job in his role.

MARK ROMICK, River Athletics Director — Jerry was one of the most honest and sincere people I have ever dealt with. He puts kids first, in all situations. He understood all levels of high school sports from coach to A.D. to administrator because he had been there. He always greeted you with a smile and took time to speak with you. He’s a great person and high school sports will miss him.

SAM JONES, Former Buckeye Local Athletics Director — Jerry Snodgrass was an ambassador and leader for the OHSAA. I have dealt with him both as an athletic director and as an official. He is top notch, A #1. He has a passion for high school sports in Ohio and he will be very hard to replace.

CASEY STORM, Former John Marshall Athletics Director — I remember my first year as A.D., Jerry was an assistant (commissioner) at the time. He was in charge of sanctioning interstate events. We were going to a track meet at Hilliard Davidson and it needed to be sanctioned through both West Virginia and Ohio for us to compete.I had no idea what I was doing. He walked me through the process. I always respected him for taking the time to do that.

LUKE NELSON, St. Clairsville Athletics Director — The news that Jerry Snodgrass stepped down as the director of the OHSAA is extremely shocking and concerning. Jerry was very well respected among athletic directors in Ohio. He was very knowledgeable, passionate, professional and credible. His motto to lead others by serving was apparent after the first time I met him. His genuine character is something that I admire and respect. Jerry will be missed and I wish him the best.

TOM BECHTEL, OHSAA Softball and Football official — I traveled the state of Ohio doing playoffs in two sports for over 25 years and met administrators. Jerry was at the very top of the list for administering games and a very personable individual who made it a pleasure to work at his school.

WALT SKAGGS, St. Clairsville Superintendent — I was on the (OHSAA) board when he was hired, but never got to work with him as executive director. I did work with him during his time as a commissioner. He oversaw several sports and did a good job directing the sports he was in charge of and things always ran smoothly. As a person, he’s a good guy.

MARK COOK, Martins Ferry Athletics Director — In my tenure as athletic director, Jerry Snodgrass has been the most approachable and genuine OHSAA commissioner (now executive director) that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. He never failed to follow up on an email, text or voicemail. He always had the student-athletes’ best interests in mind. I congratulate him and thank for his incredible service to student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

GREG HARKNESS, Bridgeport Athletics Director — I always felt Jerry was honest and passionate about high school sports and truly cared about the student-athletes. I appreciate his leadership during his tenure as executive director and though he handled some very difficult situations very well.

JOANN STAGANI, Edison Athletics Director — Jerry always took the time. It may have been at a youth conference, district meeting or sporting event, but he would always stop what he was doing and answer your question. He was very open and communicated responses to public concerns. The kid’s best interest was always the priority. He wanted to make things memorable, but always fair. For us in administration, it’s always a changing environment and a continuation to learn and grow. He took the time to teach. He led by example and he will be missed.

JUSTIN CLIFFORD, Harrison Central Basketball Coach — Jerry always did an outstanding job with anything I’ve ever been involved with. Whether it was a random question about a Tuesday night basketball game or making the state (baseball) tournament a special event and one that our kids and myself will never forget. He had the gift of remembering everyone and everything, which always made you feel important.

NICK NARDO, Union Local Athletics Director — Mr. Snodgrass is a genuine individual wo had the best interests of the student-athletes. My first year of being the athletic director, I called the state with a question and he called me back, using his personal cell phone. We spoke for about 15 minutes and he told me to call him if I ever needed any help. He was an excellent communicator and his leadership will be missed.

Staskey can be reached via email at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com or at twitter.com/TLSportsSeth

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