10/12/09 — Whitfield excited about executive director position with NCHSAA

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Whitfield excited about executive director position with NCHSAA

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 12, 2009 1:46 PM

Charlie Adams is finally leaving high school.

Davis Whitfield is going back.

A Goldsboro native and Rosewood High graduate, Whitfield is succeeding Adams as executive director of the N.C. High School Athletic Association. Norm Loewenthal, director of the Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC, made the appointment and the announcement.

Adams did not participate in finding his successor. An eight-person committee selected Whitfield to lead the NCHSAA, which organizes scholastic competition for nearly 400 public and charter schools in four classifications.

At first, Whitfield didn't pursue the position.

"I knew that Charlie was going to retire and I really didn't think much about it," said the 39-year-old Whitfield. "Someone on the staff made contact (with me) and the more I looked at the job, I thought it was something that I should pursue.

"First and foremost, Charlie has done a tremendous job at the Association. The Association is not broken and there is nothing in the immediate future that has to be done."

Whitfield is expected to inherit the staff Adams leaves behind.

"It is a huge responsibility and I think I'm ready for that challenge," said Whitfield. "There are people in the office who have been there a number of years who will be a tremendous resource for me. Charlie will be there to help, too."

The NCHSAA is parting ways with UNC, which has hosted numerous state championships. The decision was put in motion before Whitfield's appointment and he feels the transition will be seamless.

On the outside looking in, Whitfield has observed that the current recession has made finding revenue streams in the education and academic world a priority on nearly everyone's list.

"We can potentially, from an Association standpoint, go toward the technology side and those (pursuits) might be hand-in-hand with (developing) revenue opportunities," said Whitfield.

Whitfield is currently the associate commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. He has served on the commissioner's executive staff, and managed 22 sports and 21 conference championships.

Those experiences should help Whitfield once he joins the NCHSAA in mid-January. Adams' retirement is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2010.

During the first three months of his new job, Whitfield plans to get to know constituents of the high schools, athletics directors, coaches and superintendents of the local education agencies which oversee those schools.

"It's important for me to become familiar with the high school community and the high school community become familiar with me," said Whitfield. "There is going to be a need for dialogue, and trust developed when there are issues that need to be discussed and implemented.

"Yes, I plan to be a hands-on person."