Former Salem High School athletic director Sandy Hadaway was recently honored as one of six high school athletic directors who were inducted into the ninth Hall of Fame class of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA).
Hadaway was inducted on December 12th in Phoenix, Arizona, during banquet festivities at the 48th annual National Athletic Directors Conference, co-sponsored by the NIAAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
“It was wonderful and absolutely humbling,” said Hadaway, who now lives in Daleville. “A lot of people share in this award, the athletes, the coaches, the administration, the parks and recreation department. . .I can go on and on. It’s not a Sandy Hadaway award, it’s a Salem award.”
Hadaway is the only woman among the six inductees. The 2017 NIAAA Hall of Fame class also includes Ron Belinko, CMAA, retired coordinator of athletics, Baltimore County (Maryland) Public Schools; John Evers, CMAA, retired director of athletics, Castle High School, Newburgh, Indiana; Marc Hunter, CMAA, retired director of athletics, Jordan High School, Sandy, Utah, and currently executive director of the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association; Larry Munksgaard, CAA, retired athletic director, Lincoln (Nebraska) Southeast High School; and John Van Fleet, CMAA, retired athletic director, Morris, Illinois.
Hadaway retired in 2014 after a highly successful 33-year career at Salem High School. She joined the Salem staff in 1981 as assistant principal and added the duties of athletic director and student activities coordinator in 1990.
Hadaway graduated from Roanoke College in 1974 after an outstanding playing career in basketball, golf, field hockey and volleyball. She helped both the basketball and golf teams to Virginia State Intercollegiate Championships. Hadaway then earned her master’s degree from Virginia Tech. In 1982, Hadaway was inducted into the Roanoke College Hall of Fame.
During her 24 years as athletic director at Salem High School, Hadaway directed more than 200 district, region and state tournaments for the Virginia High School League (VHSL). She was responsible for adding girls and boys soccer, girls and boys lacrosse, girls and boys swimming, as well as scholastic, forensics, theatre and debate teams. Hadaway also developed a Captain’s Forum, coaches’ handbook and a coaches evaluation program, and she helped to implement a drug/alcohol policy for students and athletes.
At the state level, Hadaway’s accomplishments were extraordinary. Within the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA), she was treasurer, president-elect, president, chair of three state conferences, presenter at eight state conferences and the state’s lead instructor for Leadership Training Course (LTC) 502.
In addition to serving on numerous VIAAA committees, Hadaway was a member of the following VHSL committees: Hall of Fame Selection, Sportsmanship, Personnel Selection, State Advisory Lacrosse, Steroid Task Force and Football Ratings. She was an instructor at 10 VHSL/VIAAA New Athletic Director Workshops and was the girls’ lacrosse rules interpreter for eight years.
Hadaway’s service on the national level with the NIAAA has been equally impressive. She has served as chair of the Membership and Services Committee and Endowment Committee and was a CAA test administrator for several years. She has completed numerous Leadership Training Institute (LTI) courses and is an instructor for LTC 501 and LTC 508, and she was a member of the NIAAA Delegate Assembly seven times. She earned her Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) certification in 1995 and Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) in 2000.
In addition to her busy schedule as an athletic administrator, Hadaway was a high school and college official for 37 years. As a member of the Southwest Board of Officials, she officiated high school basketball, volleyball, field hockey, softball and lacrosse. She also officiated at the collegiate level in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in the sports of volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse and basketball.
Hadaway’s list of honors and awards is extensive. She was named Virginia AA Athletic Director of the Year in 1995 and received the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 1996. She also was the recipient of the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2003, the NFHS Citation in 2006, the John Youngblood Award in 2012 and the Claudia Dodson Equity Award in 2014. In 2007, Hadaway was inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame.
“This award is especially pleasing because it comes from my peers,” she said. “It was nice to have my family see me receive this award, and I got to play a little golf in Arizona.”
Hadaway will be off the golf course for a while, and not just because of the cold weather. Upon returning to Virginia she had her left knee replaced. She’s an avid golfer and was a regular on the local amateur scene for years.
“I recently got a golf cart that I call the ‘Buckeye Mobile’,” said Hadaway, a native of Ohio and a big Ohio State sports fan. “It’s black with the Ohio State logo and a big buckeye on the side.”
Sandy’s home is just off the fourth fairway at the Ashley Plantation golf course in Daleville.
“I can look out and see if anyone is coming,” she said with a laugh. “If no one is playing the fourth I can jump out and play a quick nine.”
Hadaway if finding plenty of things to do in retirement. She volunteers at the Ashley Plantation course, the Greenbriar Classic and the First Tee of Roanoke. She also still helps with some things at Salem High.
“I love retirement,” she said. “I can get up in the morning and do what I want. I still stay plenty busy, but now I can do all the things I like to do.”
Hadaway has no regrets. She feels most people don’t understand how much work it is being an athletic director, but it was something she enjoyed. And, she was good enough at it to become a national Hall of Famer.
“I loved it,” she said. “I would do it all over again.”