BY BOB GRACE
Our Executive Director, Mr. Frank Baldachino, has put together an impressive compilation of the chronology and history of the Directors of Athletics Association of New Jersey. Below you will find a synopsis of four randomly selected years in the fifty six year history of our association. In future editions of our Newsletter we will continue to bring you information on several more years in our long and storied history.
1951 DAANJ was the first organized State Association and was the fore runner of two national organizations: the National council of Secondary Schools and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. In 1951 Virgil Sasso and several other wise men saw the need for an association that would be solely devoted to professional growth and development of Athletic Administrators in New Jersey. In 1951 Austin LaPine of Highland Park High School was elected as the first President of DAANJ. Dues for the organization were $1.00. The first DAANJ Workshops were held with a one day format in conjunction with the New Jersey Coaches Association at the Commons on the campus of Rutgers University.
1969 Alison King of Hawthorne High School was the President of DAANJ. The Workshop was changed to a two day format and moved to the Hotel Traymore in Atlantic City. The Keynote Speaker was William Warner, the Director of Secondary Education for the N. J. Department of Education. Mr. Warner’s topic was “The New Negotiation Law and the Director of Athletics”. This was the ‘first year’ that our organization honored retirees at the Workshop and Frank Pingatore and David Berwick were the first honorees. There were six Exhibitors at the Workshop.
1974 Derry Michael of Whippany Park High School was the President of DAANJ. The Workshop was a three day format and was held at Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos. This was the first year for a ‘Workshop Theme’, the first theme: “Trends in Interscholastic Athletics”. The Keynote Speaker was William Burcat, Supervisory Consultant for Health and Drug Abuse Education. Mr. Burcat’s topic was “Thorough and Efficient as it Pertains to Interscholastic Athletics”. 1974 was also the first year for the presentation of the ‘Athletic Director of the Year’ award. Virgil Sasso of Fair Lawn High School was the first recipient and was also chosen as the winner of the ‘Eastern Regional Award’. Ten Retirees were honored at the Workshop. There were seven Exhibitors present.
1983 Walter ‘Moe’ Gaisor of Carteret High School was the President of DAANJ. The Workshop was a four day format and was held at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City. The Workshop Theme was: “Common Problems, Common Interests-Camaraderie”. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Richard McGuire, Professor from the Univ. of Virginia. Dr. McGuire’s topic was “Sports Psychology, the Director of Athletics, Stress and Leadership”. The ‘Athletic Director of the Year’ was Richard Luttrell of Willingboro High School. There were five retirees honored at the Workshop. The number of Exhibitors grew to 32. The DAANJ hosted the Eastern Regional and National Council of Secondary School Directors of Athletics Association at our Workshop.
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