North Carolina High School Athletic Association

NCHSAA’s Strunk Among 12 Individuals To Receive National Federation Citations


From The National Federation

INDIANAPOLIS— Twelve leaders in high school activity programs across the country have been selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations, including Rick Strunk of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.

The 2013 NFHS Citation recipients will receive their awards June 25 at the 94th annual NFHS Summer Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Eight of the 12 award winners represent the NFHS-member state high school associations. The other four Citation recipients represent NFHS professional organizations for officials, coaches, music and speech/debate/theatre.

Strunk joined the NCHSAA in 1986, and today brings a variety of media-related experiences to his position as associate commissioner.

Strunk, an athlete at Newton-Conover High School, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a prestigious Morehead Scholarship and was also a National Merit Scholar. He graduated from UNC with degrees in American studies with honors and English in 1975, and then did graduate work at UNC in American history.

After college, he joined the Observer-News-Enterprise in Newton as sports editor in 1976 and worked four years there before being named sports information director at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory. While there he earned 16 national awards for excellence, including seven for the No. 1 publication of its type in the country. He was the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 26 Sports Information Director of the Year the first year the award was given.

In 1985, he was named sports information director at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, working under athletic director Dick Sheridan as the Furman football team went to the NCAA national championship game.

Beginning as the NCHSAA’s sports information director, Strunk’s role has expanded over the years. His work includes writing and designing all the publications and championship game programs, as well as working with the media. Strunk coordinates the NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete program, the NCHSAA Hall of Fame and the Wells Fargo Cup, and he handles eligibility hardships for the NCHSAA. He also is involved with the NCHSAA Web site and has overseen the NCHSAA internship program.

He is editor of the official North Carolina High School Sports Record Book and served eight years as chair of the NFHS National Records Committee. He has been a featured speaker or workshop presenter at several national meetings, and in 1998 and 1999, he was the master of ceremonies for the National High School Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Nationally, Strunk is a former chair of the NFHS National Records Committee and was instrumental in the adoption of the Sportsmanship Statement that appears in the National High School Sports Record Book.

Strunk is active in his church as a member of the choir and as a teacher for an adult Sunday school class.

The other state association recipients are Lloyd Mott, retired assistant director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association; Mike Hayden, retired executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission; Bernard (Bud) Legg, sports information director, Iowa High School Athletic Association; Bob Lowery, retired assistant executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association; Gary Tripp, retired executive director of the New Mexico Activities Association; Craig Hammer, executive director of secondary schools, Washington County School District, St. George, Utah; and Lavonne Norman, director of office operations and marketing director, Alaska School Activities Association.

Other Citation recipients are Roger Barr, Official Citation recipient, director of officials, Iowa High School Athletic Association; Ellis Lane, Coach Citation recipient, retired basketball coach, Wakefield (Massachusetts) High School; Dana Hamant, Music Citation recipient, Wichita (Kansas) Public Schools; and Jana Riggins, Speech/Debate/Theatre Citation recipient, state director of speech and debate, Texas University Interscholastic League.