In 2020 six Ohio high school athletic departments were selected to receive the Annual Award of Excellence. The award, a collaboration between the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA) recognizes schools that provide exemplary support and promotion of education-based athletic programming in their school and community. 


These awards were to be given at the boys state basketball tourney that was cancelled. This was our former Executive Director Bruce Brown’s award that he created and with the help of the OHSAA presented at the last three state tournaments. Unfortunately Bruce was sick most of the 2020 year and passed in June. The award was not given and was forgotten. OIAAA would like to apologize for this oversight and award the six Athletic Administrators their awards. The award has been changed in name to the Bruce Brown Award of Excellence in honor of the man who created it and to remember the first Executive Director of the OIAAA. 

Recipients of the award are Brunswick High School (John Justice, Athletic Administrator), Fort Frye High School (Barbara Sleek, Athletic Administrator), Plymouth High School (Josh Calame, Athletic Administrator), Shenandoah High School(Eric Sholtis, Athletic Administrator), Streetsboro High School (Randy Tevepaugh, Athletic Administrator) and Turpin High School (Tony Hemmelgard, Athletic Administrator).

The focus of the award is to recognize on-going and consistent efforts on the part of Ohio interscholastic athletic departments that demonstrate best practice in the endorsement and promotion of school-based athletic programming. Specifically, this award recognizes schools that demonstrate intentional efforts to exemplify the mission and culture of educational-based athletic programs as an on-going process. 


Doug Ute, Executive Director of the OHSAA, Rick Guimond, President of the OIAAA and Glen Gillespie, Executive Director of the OIAAA issued the following joint statement on the presentation of the award:    “Ohio Interscholastic athletic programs have always been considered some of the most exemplary programs in the country in reflecting the value our schools and communities place upon education-based sports. The recipients of the ‘Bruce Brown Award of Excellence‘ have demonstrated a consistent and well-developed plan to keep focus of their sport programs upon delivering life-long skills for all participants and mirroring the educational mission of their respective institutions.”


The OHSAA and the OIAAA believe there are several benchmarks which identify quality educational based athletic programs: 

School athletic programs are inherently educational

School athletic programs compliment the educational experience 

School athletic programs enhance the educational mission of the school

School athletic programs serve as an extension of the academic classroom 

School athletic programs teach life lessons not regularly available in the academic classrooms

School athletic programs have courts, fields, tracks, pools and courses as teaching classrooms 

Each of the recipient high schools will be honored in a ceremony at the OHSAA offices on March 1.  For additional details on the “Award of Excellence” criteria, go to the OIAAA website

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