May June 2024 - 28

A.D. FOCUS
Q&A.D.
A conversation with MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl
By Wesley Sykes, managing editor
M
ark Uyl has been the Michigan High School
Association (MHSAA) executive director since
2018. Previously, Uyl served in the assistant
director role for 14 years.
Uyl joined the MHSAA staff in January 2004 and
coordinated the Association's nearly 10,000 officials
in addition to serving as director of baseball and
administrator of the MHSAA's catastrophic and
concussion care insurance plans from 2004 to 2018.
He also has served as director of cross country and
wrestling during his tenure as assistant director.
As assistant director, Uyl was instrumental as the
MHSAA became the first state high school athletics
association to offer concussion care insurance, which
provides gap coverage to assist in covering costs
for athletes who are injured while participating in
MHSAA-sponsored sports. As an official himself, Uyl
has worked to build a stronger relationship with those
working high school events which has included an
increase in training and support. As a sports director,
Uyl has sought to create the best experiences for
Michigan high school teams, including with the move
of the MHSAA Baseball and Softball Finals to Michigan
State University in 2014.
Uyl spoke with Coach & Athletic Director about his
career and the current state of the MHSAA.
Coach & A.D.: What are you most proud of
achieving in the time you've been at the helm
of the MHSAA?
Mark Uyl: Figuring out a way to navigate
the world of school sports during COVID.
The challenges the pandemic created
were unprecedented, and we were able to
work effectively with our member schools
to figure out a way to not only play but
to play safely. What became clear during
April, May, and June of 2020 was our kids desperately
needed activity and connection to teammates and
coaches, and the MHSAA had to meet those needs
28 COACH & A.D. | MAY/JUNE 2024
while navigating the challenges presented by the virus,
politics, and directives from governmental agencies.
The MHSAA was able to complete every sports
season safely during the 2020-21 school year, which,
looking back, was an extraordinary accomplishment and
one that our entire staff took great pride in.
CAD: How has your experience as a college
baseball official, including serving on the NASO
Board of Directors among other committees,
influenced your role as MHSAA executive director?
Uyl: My officiating background has taught me the
importance of having thick skin, making decisions based on
the facts in front of you, and not being swayed by outside
influences, pressures, or agendas. The pressure of making
decisions as the MHSAA director, with outside voices and
opinions on both sides of an issue, is one that I've done for
nearly 30 years, much like calling a pitch a ball or a strike
with individuals in both dugouts seeing the same set of
facts much differently. It has also been helpful knowing
that decision-makers will never keep everyone happy, and
the quicker a leader comes to that conclusion, the better off
and more effective that leader will be.
CAD: Given that official background, what steps
have you taken to help mitigate the ongoing referee
shortage? While it's certainly a national issue, has
it affected you at the state level?
Uyl: Over the past 40 years, our registration data has
shown that the ebb and flow of officials has been directly
linked to economic conditions. In other words, when the
economy was in good shape, official numbers were down.
When the economy tended to struggle, our numbers
were up as folks were looking for additional ways to

May June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May June 2024

Between The Lines
A.D.ministration
CSCCa Strength Focus
2024 State of the Industry: A.D.'s describe the landscape of high school sports
Beyond the Scoreboard: Six impacts of signage in athletic departments
Equal Playing Field: Insights into coaching at all three NCAA divisions
Q&A.D.: with MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl
On the Rise: Esports - Special Advertising Section
Grappling with Structure: Outlining practice formats for high school wrestlers
Facility Focus
2024 Tech Guide
Sole Survivor: VKTRY Insoles' advanced technology helps athletes reduce injuries
Optimal Oxygen: VO2 Max scores can correlate with athletic success
Joint Effort: Hudl, Snap! Mobile partnership aims to revolutionize athletic fundraising
Youthful Changes: Coaches notice changes throughout the youth sports landscape
Product Focus
Product Marketplace
Ad Index
May June 2024 - 1
May June 2024 - 2
May June 2024 - 3
May June 2024 - Between The Lines
May June 2024 - 5
May June 2024 - A.D.ministration
May June 2024 - 7
May June 2024 - 8
May June 2024 - 9
May June 2024 - CSCCa Strength Focus
May June 2024 - 11
May June 2024 - 2024 State of the Industry: A.D.'s describe the landscape of high school sports
May June 2024 - 13
May June 2024 - 14
May June 2024 - 15
May June 2024 - 16
May June 2024 - 17
May June 2024 - Beyond the Scoreboard: Six impacts of signage in athletic departments
May June 2024 - 19
May June 2024 - 20
May June 2024 - 21
May June 2024 - Equal Playing Field: Insights into coaching at all three NCAA divisions
May June 2024 - 23
May June 2024 - 24
May June 2024 - 25
May June 2024 - 26
May June 2024 - 27
May June 2024 - Q&A.D.: with MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl
May June 2024 - 29
May June 2024 - 30
May June 2024 - On the Rise: Esports - Special Advertising Section
May June 2024 - A2
May June 2024 - A3
May June 2024 - A4
May June 2024 - A5
May June 2024 - A6
May June 2024 - A7
May June 2024 - A8
May June 2024 - Grappling with Structure: Outlining practice formats for high school wrestlers
May June 2024 - 32
May June 2024 - 33
May June 2024 - Facility Focus
May June 2024 - 35
May June 2024 - 36
May June 2024 - 2024 Tech Guide
May June 2024 - Sole Survivor: VKTRY Insoles' advanced technology helps athletes reduce injuries
May June 2024 - 39
May June 2024 - Optimal Oxygen: VO2 Max scores can correlate with athletic success
May June 2024 - 41
May June 2024 - 42
May June 2024 - 43
May June 2024 - 44
May June 2024 - 45
May June 2024 - Joint Effort: Hudl, Snap! Mobile partnership aims to revolutionize athletic fundraising
May June 2024 - 47
May June 2024 - Youthful Changes: Coaches notice changes throughout the youth sports landscape
May June 2024 - 49
May June 2024 - 50
May June 2024 - 51
May June 2024 - Product Focus
May June 2024 - 53
May June 2024 - 54
May June 2024 - 55
May June 2024 - Product Marketplace
May June 2024 - 57
May June 2024 - Ad Index
May June 2024 - 59
May June 2024 - 60
May June 2024 - 61
May June 2024 - 62
May June 2024 - 63
May June 2024 - 64
May June 2024 - 65
May June 2024 - 66
May June 2024 - 67
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May June 2024 - 69
May June 2024 - 70
May June 2024 - 71
May June 2024 - 72
May June 2024 - 73
May June 2024 - 74
May June 2024 - 75
May June 2024 - 76
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