COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jerry Snodgrass has been named the next Ohio High School Athletic Association executive director. He is set to formally begin his duties in mid-September.
The OHSAA made the announcement in a news release Friday. Snodgrass succeeds Dr. Dan Ross, who announced in January he would step down Sept. 15. Ross has been the OHSAA commissioner/executive director since 2004.
Snodgrass, an Upper Sandusky native, will be the OHSAA’s 10th leader in its 111th year of service to Ohio schools. The OHSAA board of directors selected Snodgrass.
“We have an enormous responsibility in education-based athletics and I am ready to take that on,” Snodgrass said.
“I have had a great mentor here and great mentors along the way to prepare me. No individual in this profession is successful without the help of others. We have a great staff and they will be an integral part of developing our annual goals, while always keeping in mind our mission statement to provide educational opportunities for the students through participation in sports. The success of our student-athletes is not possible without the thousands of coaches and administrators on the front lines, and we need to help our coaches and administrators make this happen.”
Snodgrass has been an OHSAA assistant commissioner since August 2008. He serves the 822 member schools as the administrator for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball and baseball and softball.
Paul Powers, OHSAA board of directors president and the athletic director at Aurora High School in northeast Ohio, noted the connection Snodgrass has with Ohio’s schools was key to the decision. Powers and the board of directors conducted the search, which included input from the OHSAA staff.
“Jerry has established great relationships with so many people and schools throughout Ohio,” Powers said. “He is very respected across the state and has been a leader within the OHSAA community for a long time, including the last 11 years in the state office. Jerry has not only been the administrator for many of the OHSAA-sanctioned sports, but he has brought new ideas, especially in the areas of sportsmanship and tournament management. We are excited to see the direction of the association in the years to come.”
Snodgrass, a big NFL fan, coached Ben Roethlisberger in basketball at Findlay High School. Snodgrass has an affable personality and has embraced being able to connect with athletic administrators, coaches, fans and media on social media the past five years.
Snodgrass also serves a major role as the OHSAA’s main liaison with athletic administrators across the state.
Snodgrass began his career in 1977 as teacher and coach in the Defiance City Schools, coaching baseball, basketball and football. He moved on to teach and become the head boys basketball coach at Morral Ridgedale High School between 1980 and 1982 before serving as a teacher and middle school athletic director in the Bryan City Schools during the 1982-83 school year.
Hired by the Findlay City Schools in 1983 to teach physical sciences, he also served as an assistant boys varsity basketball coach at Findlay High School until 1991, when he was promoted to the schools’ head boys basketball coach, continuing in that role through the 1998-99 season. Overall, he spent 25 years at Findlay, the last 16 as the school’s athletic director.
Snodgrass coached Roethlisberger -- the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and former Miami University standout -- at Findlay High School.
“I am so blessed to have that experience,” Snodgrass told WCPO in 2016. “To this day I laugh. I think he’s 32 years old and all he can call me is 'coach.' I say that with so much respect of in the coaching world how powerful a coach really is.”
Snodgrass was inducted into the OIAAA (Ohio Athletic Directors) Hall of Fame in October 2010 and was selected as the OHSAA’s Naismith Meritorious Service Award recipient in 2010.
Snodgrass also oversees the OHSAA’s nationally recognized “Golden Megaphone” program to promote sportsmanship within student sections of member schools’ basketball games. He also created "Military Appreciation Night.”
Snodgrass has served in various leadership capacities. He was elected to serve on the OHSAA’s Northwest District Athletic Board while also serving as its president prior to his employment at the OHSAA.
A 1973 graduate of Upper Sandusky High School, Snodgrass earned his bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green in 1977 and a master’s degree from the University of Dayton in 1989.
(Information from OHSAA.org used in this report)