STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Board of Control accepted the retirement of Executive Director Dave Anderson, effective on July 30, 2021, in closed session of its December meeting today.
“The WIAA has been my home, my family and much of my life for the past 22 years, and I am grateful,” Anderson said. “It has always been the people and purpose that has defined the quality of every work experience, and within this office and membership, there are no finer people to work with.
“I believe it is the right time because we have a great staff and a great Board of Control in place,” he said. “Looking ahead at the challenges we know are going to be a part of coming out of this pandemic, I think it is a great opportunity for a new face, a new voice and new ideas moving forward.”
The Board will conduct a virtual meeting on Dec. 10 to outline and determine the process for hiring a successor. Anderson, 67, assumed the role of executive director of the Association on Aug. 1, 2009, following the retirement of Doug Chickering. He is just the fifth executive director since the position was created in 1924.
“Dave has been an advocate for education-based sports and has always put kids first in every decision, and he has provided opportunities for them in a fair and consistent manner throughout his time at the WIAA,” said Board President Eric Russell. “We want to thank Dave and express our great gratitude for all his years of service. He has done an excellent job of running the WIAA, especially through this pandemic.
“Dave is very thorough and thoughtful about each of the issues that confronts this membership,” he continued. “He has been diligent in exploring all the different angles before moving forward with any policies.”
Under his leadership and guidance, the membership thrived during his 12-year tenure as executive director. He is credited with eliminating membership dues and fees, providing concussion insurance to every member school student-athlete and eliminating the football scenario of three games in 10 days, transitioning to five divisions in basketball and the relocating of the girls basketball tournament to Green Bay, maintaining the association’s ownership of streaming rights, implementing on-line State Tournament ticketing, advising on an improved conference realignment process, affirming the membership’s sportsmanship principles, executing fiscal responsibility, and leading and navigating the association through the COVID-19 epidemic.
Anderson came to the WIAA in 1998 as an assistant to the director, and in 2002 he was named deputy director after having been promoted to assistant director a year earlier.
Prior to becoming the executive director, Anderson was responsible for student-athlete eligibility, officials licensing, interpretation of rules, tournament administration and planning, and committee leadership in the sports of football, baseball, wrestling, hockey and softball, as well as the medical advisory committee and wrestling’s 7-percent committee.
In addition to his duties with the WIAA, Anderson has also been involved at the national level. He served on the National Federation of State High School Association’s Hockey Rules Committee and was a voting member of the Federation’s Football Rules Committee.
Prior to joining the WIAA, Anderson served as athletic director at Sun Prairie High School from 1991 until joining the WIAA. He has enjoyed a lengthy career in athletics. He began his career as a faculty member at D.C. Everest High School in Schofield, Wis, from 1976-79. He also served as head track and field coach, assistant football coach and assistant basketball coach.
In 1979, he accepted a position as a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin and worked on the football coaching staff. In 1981, he joined the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football staff and was an instructor in physical education. After one season, he accepted the position of defensive coordinator and part-time physical education instructor at Montana State University from 1982-83.
He returned to the University of Wisconsin as an assistant football coach from 1983-86 and served as the defensive coordinator in 1986. From 1987-1990, Anderson was the defensive coordinator at Miami of Ohio University.
Anderson graduated from UW in 1976 with a degree in physical education. He received a master of science degree in physical education with an emphasis in athletic administration from UW in 1981.