Two Ohio interscholastic athletic administrators have been selected to receive top professional honors from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) at the 2019 National Athletic Directors Conference this December. Earning the NIAAA’s “Distinguished Service Award” will be Tom Nerl, CMAA, athletic director at Mariemont High School. Receiving the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) “Citation Award” will be Paul Powers, CAA, athletic director at Aurora High School.
Nerl has been Mariemont’s athletic administrator for the past 15 years. Prior to arriving at Mariemont, he served three years as the athletic director at Purcell-Marian High School, also in Cincinnati. During his professional career, he has earned numerous recognitions: 2010 Southwest District “A.D. of the Year”, 2012 “Ohio Award of Merit” and the Southwest Ohio District’s “Citation”, “Distinguished Service” and “Professional Development” awards during the past seven years.
Nerl has served both the Southwest District as well as the NIAAA in numerous capacities. He has been a Southwest District officer since 2009, having served as that organization’s President from 2013-2015. He currently oversees the Mentorship program for Ohio’s Southwest District. At the national level, Nerl has been an active committee member on the Hall of Fame and Mentoring Committees as well as participating as a national workshop moderator from 2014 through 2018. He has also been a Leadership Training Institute (LTI) instructor at both the state and national levels for multiple years and currently is on the LTI 502 National Faculty for the NIAAA.
Powers has served as an Ohio athletic administrator for 27 years. He has been the A.D. at Aurora High School for the past 11 years. Previous to Aurora, he was athletic director at Bedford High School for 10 years and held the same role at West Geauga High School for five years. During this span of time, he has been an officer with the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA), serving as their president from 2015-2017. Additionally, he has been a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s (OHSAA) Northeast District Athletic Board for the past seven years. In the 2017-2018 school year, Powers served as the President of the OHSAA’s state Board of Directors.
At the District level, Powers served as the Northeast District’s president from 2009-2011 and remains on the NEOIAAA’s Board of Directors. He has provided leadership with the Northeast District since 1995. At the national level, he has served as an Ohio delegate to the NIAAA’s National Conference for the past six years and has sat on several committees during the National Conference.
“Both Tom and Paul represent the best of our profession”, stated OIAAA Executive Director, Bruce Brown. “They have been exemplary leaders for their respective schools and have also provided servant-leadership to the over 800 Ohio athletic administrators our association serves on a daily basis. These recognitions are well-deserved and we are excited that they will each be honored on a national stage.”
Nerl and Powers will receive their awards in National Harbor (Washington, DC) during the December 12-17, 2019 National Athletic Directors Conference. Over 2,000 interscholastic athletic administrators from around the country, along with over 100 international athletic directors, annually attend the NADC.