4 QUESTIONS: A CONVERSATION WITH…QUE TUCKER
Que Tucker has enjoyed an outstanding career at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association after successful stints coaching at the high school and college levels and is currently serving the NCHSAA as interim commissioner after a stint as deputy commissioner.
In her role as deputy commissioner, she oversaw the entire NCHSAA sports program, after helping to start the Association's acclaimed Student Services program.
A graduate of Stoneville High, she attended Mars Hill College, where she was an outstanding athlete and graduated in 1974. Tucker came to the NCHSAA in 1991 after several years as an assistant women's basketball coach at N.C. State under Kay Yow.
As a high school coach at Reidsville, her women's basketball teams posted a 145-104 mark during a period from 1978 through '88 and her volleyball squads went 58-16. She also served as a game official in several different sports.
She is a charter member of the Mars Hill College Athletic Hall of Fame and joined the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 2011.
How would you describe your emotions and your outlook as you prepared to serve as commissioner of North Carolina High School Athletic Association?
In a sense, it was very surreal and as the moment of transition approached. I felt the butterflies starting to fly around in my stomach. But as Coach Yow so often stated, “The butterflies are okay as long as they are flying in formation”. So that is what I hoped for.
It is a very humbling feeling as well. This is not a position that I sought; so, I appreciate the vote of confidence by the Board of Directors in naming me the Interim Commissioner. I pledge to work hard, do the right thing, and treat people fairly.
What are the biggest challenges you believe high school associations face today, and what challenges do you see ahead specifically for the NCHSAA?
The biggest challenges faced by state associations are the unrealistic expectations of those who believe that participation in athletics at this level is a “right”, instead of what it really is—a privilege.
The NCHSAA faces the challenge that comes every four years—Realignment. Even though 2014-2015 will be the third year of the current alignment, it is the year that the process will unfold. Realignment is an emotional experience for many, because it determines the conference “family” for a four-year period.
The ever-changing world of technology is very challenging for everyone. We must remain on the cutting edge in utilizing technology to effectively and efficiently service our member schools.
The health and safety of athletes as well as promoting good sportsmanship are continuous challenges and must be addressed constantly.
What is your best memory of high school athletics personally, from your own involvement in them?
When I first started playing high school basketball, I really thought I had a good jump shot until someone blocked it into my face. I committed myself to practicing all summer to develop a shot that would not be blocked. It worked! That memory reminds me that high school athletics taught me valuable lessons—such as hard work, commitment, perseverance–that actually helped me on my career path.
Other memories revolve around my players. They were like sponges–absorbing everything I told them; so, I had to study and make sure I was teaching the right thing. That really made me a better teacher. I remember having to run the girls out of the gym at the end of practice. The practices, games, the coaching relationships—it was fun! I really am not sure it is the same today.
People may not be aware of your interests away from the NCHSAA. What are things you enjoy or are involved with in your limited spare time away from high school athletics?
I am a native of Reidsville, North Carolina, which is where my mom and sister still live. So I spend a lot of time “hanging out” with them in Reidsville on the weekends. I am still very active with my hometown church, co-teaching a Sunday school class and singing in the choir.