Athletic director Don Maurer, his staff, and colleagues at MICDS were honored on Tuesday, after receiving the nationally-coveted, Interscholastic Sports Program of Excellence award from Coach and Athletic Director magazine.
The national publication, which serves more than 28,000 top coaching and athletic director decision-makers, awarded just four programs with its top honor, and decided MICDS was the best among those in the private school with enrollment over 500 category, due to the school's outstanding off-the-field achievements in its athletics department.
“Don Maurer has created an atmosphere unlike any other that encourages the intellectual growth of both student-athletes and coaches,” said Kevin Hoffman, associate editor of Coach And Athletic Director.
“It’s rare to see administrators embrace roles as coaches. It’s also refreshing to see programs place an emphasis on education through athletics, using sports as an avenue to prepare student-athletes for the lives they’ll live beyond high school.”
The Program of Excellence was created to honor athletic departments not for their accomplishments on the field, but their overall commitment to promoting a positive experience for student-athletes.
Coach And Athletic Director received nominations for schools in 33 states and an independent panel of judges selected the award winners based on their success in eight categories: participation rate, coaches certification, community service, athletic director national certification, scholar-athlete status, level of participation, sportsmanship and parent participation.
MICDS was one of four schools honored in the program’s inaugural class.
In recognition for its achievement, MICDS received a visit from Hoffman, who delivered a trophy and conducted interviews as part of a feature story that appears in the magazine’s November edition.
The story was written to give readers a glimpse into the MICDS sports program and why it was named one of the most remarkable departments in the nation.
Judges were impressed by the 3.29 GPA held by student-athletes and that all 99 MICDS coaches completed the National Federation Coaching Certification Program.
The school also boasts a participation rate of greater than 70 percent, and it developed a “Captain’s Council” to improve the leadership qualities of its athletes.
Other national honorees included The Overlake School (Redmond, Wash., private school less than 500 enrollment); St. Anthony Village High School (Minneapolis, Minn., public school less than 1,000 enrollment); and Vista Murrieta High School (Murrieta, Calif., public school more than 1,000 enrollment).