THSADA Spotlight: Mark Ball

Mark Ball (2)

Greetings!  I am close to completing my 35th year in education.  I have 17 years experience as a Head Football Coach/Athletic Director and 8 years experience as an Athletic Director.  I am currently serving my fourth year as the Executive Director of Athletics for Lubbock ISD.  I never knew much about our organization until I quit coaching in 2006.  At that time I became a member and started on a journey of professional and social growth among the state AD community.  I have always had a great relationship with the head football/AD or the former football coach turned full-time AD.  However, one of the things that was afforded me by our organization was developing friendships and working relationships with men and women who were not head football coaches.

I have immensely enjoyed listening to these THSADA members and their perspective on issues within our profession.  I think if we look at our organization some of our most knowledgeable and most influential members fall into this category. Needless to say the faces of our organization look much different than they did in 1971 when our organization began.

I do not know if this is the correct platform for such topics, but I believe our organization needs to partner with THSCA and TGCA and look at the challenges we face in the near future.  In my opinion, these include; where do private schools, charter schools, parochial schools, and home schooled students fit in with UIL member public schools?  What do we do about the onslaught of camps, clubs, select leagues, tournaments and non-school coaches influence outside the school?  How does our organization influence the state legislature in regards to the athletic periods during the school day, state mandated testing and its effect on teachers/coaches and equitable funding for school districts?

In conclusion, I am proud to be the first director of Region I in the new restructure of our organization and a member of THSADA.  I want to challenge each of you to break down barriers, disregard stereotypes, and crossover lines to be an active and contributing member of our association.  I challenge you to get involved with other members of your region to be a voice of influence.  Please get involved in telling our story and continue to help our coaches and athletes throughout the state.  Thank you for being my colleague and I look forward to working with you in the future.