THSADA Spotlight: Keith Kilgore


As I retired in 2012, I was looking back on 45 years in public education with the last 29 years as an athletic administrator. I had enjoyed, in my opinion, a great career.

I was fortunate to spend the first 9 years in athletic administration as an assistant to LeRoy Crump in Alief. During those years, LeRoy served the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association as its president and was inducted into its Hall of Honor.

When I had the opportunity to move to Fort Bend to become its Director of Athletics in 1992, I was following Buddy Hopson there. Buddy had served the Association as a Regional Director and was also a member of the Hall of Honor.

I was greatly assisted by these two gentlemen as I made the transition from one district to another and into the role of Director. But there were others as well. I recall the calls and notes I received from such outstanding AD’s like Mike Williamson of Spring Branch, Sonny Novak of Klein, Jack Rhodes of Katy and Jim Ashmore of Houston. Their help and support was unsolicited, but, ultimately, unparalleled in providing the boost I needed.  I have never forgotten those gestures and vowed to always provide the same insights to young athletic administrators that followed me.

During my tenure in Fort Bend, we experienced great success, winning 15 state and three national championships. We also opened two state of the art natatoriums, a 10,000 seat football/track stadium and a 2,000 seat all purpose arena (named for Coach Hopson). All of that was accomplished while experiencing unprecedented growth from the four high schools in existence when I arrived to the eleven that are there now.

I also fought the daily battles of parental concerns, budget constraints, rules violations, staffing, facility utilizations and technology upgrades. And then…I RETIRED !!

But, not long after that, I was having lunch with Rusty Dowling soon after his appointment as the Executive Director of the THSADA. Over that lunch, I confessed to Rusty that I was having a difficult time segueing into retirement. I just felt that I had accumulated so much experience and knowledge over all those years and it was no longer applicable to the events of my daily life. I wanted and needed to remain connected and involved.

With Rusty’s help and with the blessing of the THSADA Board, that has become a reality. I was able to work with several other retired AD’s in writing the Association’s “Code of Ethics.” I have served on the “Retired AD’s Discussion Panel” at each of the last two State Conventions and participated with other retirees as moderators at those conventions. I was also asked to be a guest lecturer at the 2013 THSCA Convention in Fort Worth.

I am so proud of this Association. The growth in numbers and the quality of leadership is outstanding and the emphasis on sharing knowledge will propel it even further. I am also grateful that there is a place within the organization for retirees like me. Those of us who want to help and continue to share our experiences now have that opportunity. Hopefully, we will remember all those who supported us and repay them by doing the same for the next generation of athletic directors.