The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) recently announced the ten individuals who will be honored on December 17th in National Harbor, Maryland for the 2019 Bruce D. Whitehead Distinguished Service Award. These ten individuals have made outstanding contributions to interscholastic athletics and they are being recognized for their length of service, special accomplishments and contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. Nominations are submitted by state athletic directors associations, screened by the NIAAA Awards Committee and selected by the NIAAA Board of Directors.
This year’s award winners include John Frizzell, CMAA, athletic director, Wisconsin Rapids (Wisconsin) Lincoln High School; Todd Gilkey, CAA, athletic director, St. Maries (Idaho) High School; Jeff Morris, CMAA, director of athletics and head of school, Gray Stone Day School, Misenheimer, North Carolina; Mike Mossbrucker, CAA, Mooresville (Indiana) High School; Tom Nerl, CMAA, athletic director, Mariemont High School, Cincinnati, Ohio; Robert Palazzo, CMAA, director of athletics, Classical High School, Providence, Rhode Island; Mark Rerick, CMAA, director of athletics, Grand Forks (North Dakota) Public Schools; Annette Scogin, CMAA, former assistant director of athletics, Dallas (Texas) Independent School District; Dory Smith, CMAA, former director of athletics, Villa Duchesne and The Principia Schools, St. Louis, Missouri; and Jim Wright, Ed.D., CMAA, supervisor of health, physical education and athletics, South Huntington (New York) Union Free School District.
Jeff Morris, CMAA, has nearly 25 years of experience in high school athletics and has spent the past 14 as an athletic administrator, holding both the director of athletics and head of school positions at Gray Stone Day School in Misenheimer, North Carolina. Previously, he spent nearly 10 years as a physical education teacher and head soccer coach at Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Georgia.
Morris built the program at Gray Stone from the ground up including the establishment of athletic policies and a culture of character and success. As head of school (principal) since 2015, Morris is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school, including staff and student supervision.
Morris has been affiliated with the NIAAA for the past 12 years and is now a lifetime member. He currently serves on the organization’s Accreditation Committee and is heavily involved with the Leadership Training program as the North Carolina state coordinator and a national faculty member and content contributor for four different courses. Since 2009, he has taught more than 30 courses at the National Conferences.
Morris is a leader in his state as well, having served as secretary, vice president and president of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA). Additionally, he is the NCADA’s Professional Development Committee chair and is a past recipient of the Rusty Lee Professional Development Award.
As the state Leadership Training coordinator, he has taught more than 30 courses at state conferences and the NCADA’s Summer Leadership Academy since 2008. He also is the NCADA’s representative to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Board of Directors and has previously served on the state conference planning committee.
At the local level, Morris has been the president of the Yadkin Valley 1A Conference seven different times in the past 15 years, has hosted multiple conferences and state tournaments and owns more than 300 wins as a coach.
Morris earned his bachelor’s degree from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and his master’s from the United States Sports Academy.