WSN coaches get certified by NIAAA
Two coaches at W.S. Neal High School have been recognized as certified athletic administrators, completing a rigorous course in sports management for educators.
Doug Hoehn and Daniel Polon recently received the honor from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association recognized
“This was a two-year program of course work from Indiana,” Hoehn said. “We had an exam that featured various items dealing with high school athletics. It involved booster clubs, rules for athletics and dealt with safety issues and safety plans for teams and events. It also focuses on Title IX and issues with the American Disabilities’ Act and how sports are run and the management of facilities and other concerns like concussions and physicals and general paperwork to be in compliance with other federations as well as local things like the Alabama High School Athletic Association.”
Hoehn said the majority of the course involved case studies regarding of Supreme Court decisions on major rulings such as Title IX and the ADA. The group also studied the legalities of teams and booster clubs should be governed.
“It is a good program,” Hoehn said. “It prepares you for how programs should be run. Our society today is more and more regulated by rules and regulations. There are just so many things that can come up in athletics. You deal with so many kids. It is just a lot you have to keep up with. We started working on it two years ago and I just think it is a good program to be involved in. I was glad coach Palon decided to do it. It will help him and better prepare him when he becomes an athletic director. It is great to have people to step up like that and want to further their knowledge. Things change all the time and we just need to keep up with the change.”
Polon said he was glad to take the course with Hoehn.
“There are a lot of new issues that come up,” Polon said. “We just need to make sure we have a good grasp on it and know how to run a program successfully. The biggest thing for me is I have been able to be with coach Hoehn for so long. I have learned how to run a football program and an athletic program and handle it with class and handle the community. I have been very blessed to work with him this long.”
Hoehn said he and Palon began the certification program when they were in Mississippi.
“At the time, Mississippi was encouraging their athletic directors to do more professional development things like this,” he said. “It’s a national organization and they do the policy-making and rules for what is allowed by athletic departments in the different states. It tells us what grounds we can stand on as an athletic department. Athletics is a privilege, and not a right.”
Hoehn said the AHSAA also encourages coaches and administrators to follow strict rules in managing school sports teams.
“I have worked with several different states and the AHSAA does a terrific job with these situations,” Hoehn said. “Their rules on concussion and mandatory coach meetings and being certified on CPR … they do a great job with it. Also, the Alabama Football Coaches Association does an outstanding job. I have relied on them and asked questions and they have helped me out a lot.”
To earn the distinction, the coaches demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of interscholastic athletic administration.
The certification process included an evaluation of the candidate’s educational background, experience and professional contributions as well as a comprehensive written examination.
The NIAAA is a national professional organization consisting of all 50 state athletic administrator associations with more than 7,600 individual members.