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Message from the CIF-SS Commissioner: Message to our membership – past, present and future

As I begin my 11th year as the Commissioner of Athletics for the CIF Southern Section, I would like to share with you the initial observations I had when I began this journey in 2011, in an effort to examine what has changed and what has remained the same. With a couple of slight revisions, this was my vision of who we are, who we are not and where we were going 10 years ago. I believe these words still ring true today, as they did then.

Who We Are
We are an educational institution dedicated to teaching young people valuable lessons they can utilize to make them better students now and better people for the future. The high school student who participates in athletics at their school will learn so many important values that will translate into success later in life. The ideals of sportsmanship, teamwork, commitment, discipline, responsibility, perseverance through adversity and goal setting are all examples of important concepts taught to our young people through the outstanding leadership provided by our principals, athletic directors and teacher/coaches. Together with these dedicated educators, we have an obligation to provide the best high school athletic experience to every young person who wishes to participate in their school’s athletic programs. With that in mind, I pledge to you that as the Commissioner of Athletics, along with the members of our outstanding staff, we will do all we can to serve you, our member schools, to the best of our ability.

Who We Are Not
We are not an organization whose primary purpose is to help facilitate getting college scholarships and professional contracts for our student-athletes. While we are certainly proud of those young people who have gone on from their high school experience to the highest levels of athletic success in our nation and around the world, they are a very small percentage of the total number of young men and young women who participate in our school-based programs. We simply cannot allow those who wish to use the high school athletic experience to try and achieve monetary gain to succeed in drawing our focus and energy away from the large majority of student-athletes who we have an obligation to serve.

Where We Are Going
As we move forward together, it is incumbent upon you, our membership, to continue to formulate the rules and policies that will guide our section in the years ahead. We must be an organization that is willing to discuss and explore new ideas to better serve the needs of our students and our schools. Your input is absolutely essential to that effort. For the past 21 years that I have served as an Assistant Commissioner and Commissioner for the CIF Southern Section, I have been motivated each and every day by two thoughts…

  1. I must be in touch with our membership, to know what issues you are facing, in the hope that I can support you, help you meet your challenges and attempt to solve your problems.
  2. What our organization is doing now, we can always do better. I, along with our dedicated staff , are constantly examining ways that we can try and improve what we do.

I do not plan to change what has motivated me each day since I came to work for the CIF Southern Section 21 years ago. This is a time to reinforce that commitment and continue on the path to becoming the best organization we can be. There is no doubt that we have faced many challenges over the years we have been together, but I believe we have consistently proved that by working in a cooperative and collaborative way, there are no obstacles that we cannot overcome. It is important and noble work that we do in service to the young people we are so fortunate to serve, which makes education-based athletics the unique and special experience that it is for all who are involved in it.

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.