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Message from the CIF-SS Commissioner: A look back at 2018 – 2019

As this school year ends, it is time to reflect back on the year we have had. Here are some key words that highlight what took place in 2018-2019.

Loss – The passing of Assistant Commissioner Glenn Martinez and former Commissioner of Athletics Dean Crowley certainly affected us deeply. I am eternally grateful to them for their contributions to our organization and they will truly be missed. We will always honor and remember them for who they were and what they stood for.

Change – CIF Executive Director Roger Blake announced his retirement in March. On the professional side, Roger was a true champion for education-based athletics and a passionate advocate for student-athletes throughout his over 40 years in education. He leaves a legacy that includes increased cooperation among all 10 sections and the CIF State Office, a landmark state-wide Marketing program, significant advances in bylaws related to the health and safety of student-athletes, the expansion of State Championships and many more. On the personal side, Roger has been a mentor and a valued friend who I am fortunate to have a great relationship with. Thank you to Roger Blake for all you have done in service to the Southern Section and the entire CIF organization.

Gain – New Assistant Commissioner Rich Shearer joins our staff on July 1 and he will be an excellent addition to our team. Ron Nocetti will begin his tenure as the new CIF Executive Director on August 1 and we will certainly benefit from his knowledge, experience and commitment to serving all CIF member schools in California. We will be in great hands under Ron’s leadership.

Discussion – I was gratified to see our section membership engage in meaningful dialogue on important issues like transfer rules and the Summer Dead Period. The Valid Change of Residence Checklist was a direct result of the feedback we received from our member schools and was implemented on January 1. This document has proven to be very helpful in standardizing the information necessary for schools to certify that a valid residence change has taken place. The Transfer Rules Committee will complete their work at their upcoming meeting on August 14 and I look forward to their conclusions after studying this topic throughout the year.

Communication – We expanded our communication efforts dramatically with the addition of our Digital Media Coordinator. Specifically, all of our social media platforms have grown tremendously and will continue to do so. Also, we introduced podcasts to our stakeholders and plan to expand that concept next year and beyond.

Debuts – We held our inaugural Traditional Cheer Championships on January 12 and our first-ever Unified Sports Track and Field Championships on May 11. We were very pleased with the success of these events and excited to see the increased opportunities that made available for student-athletes who have not had those chances in the past.

Finances – I am grateful to our section membership for understanding the changing financial picture of our organization. With your endorsement, we have made steps to improve the long-term financial stability of our organization and will continue that effort in the time ahead.

That’s a wrap for 2018-2019. Enjoy a well-deserved summer break and I will be back at the end of July with a preview of the 2019-2020 school year.

As always, I sincerely thank you for your help and support, it is truly appreciated.

This article was written by Rob Wigod, CIF-SS Commissioner.