The Nevada Athletic Director's Association (NADA) hosts its annual conference during the NIAA's state hoop tournament. Athletic administrators and athletic directors throughout the state congregate to talk on challenges of the era, discuss issues and bond over like experiences.
Larry Goins has been a long-time athletic administrator at Pahrump Valley, Sierra Vista and now Desert Oasis high schools in southern Nevada. He is Executive Director of NADA and has a huge hand in developing the agenda for the annual meeting.
"I want to see some education in the program and I want to see some fellowship," Goins said. "I want our athletic administrators to be able to swap stories and learn to better work together; and I want to give them some education so they can do their job better."
Athletic leaders from all three Sparks-area high schools were in Las Vegas for last week's meeting and they had nothing but glowing things to say about their yearly trek to the conference.
"The conference is always good," Sparks High athletic director Rob Kittrell said. "I like the networking. A lot of these people I only get to see once or twice a year. It's good to talk about what's going on and it's just good to see everybody."
Reed High athletic administrator Kevin Taylor had similar sentiments.
"The biggest benefit of these conferences is the sharing of ideas," Taylor said. "You get to hear what other schools are doing around the state, how they are planning, fundraising, organizing. I hope to pull out a few new ideas every year."
The conference program was held Friday, but on Thursday, prior to the program a variety of professional development courses were held for the school athletic leaders, on topics ranging from legal issues to management strategies to concepts for budgeting and finance.
Spanish Springs High athletic administrator Jen Ritch is on the NADA conference planning committee. She said the professional development courses are something she really looks forward to.
"These are valuable," she said. "They help me be a better administrator. They are so important in validating me in my job. They help me work better with my players, parents and coaches. They give me new ideas. The conference in general recharges me. It makes me feel better and makes me want to go back to work and do a better job."
Friday's conference agenda started with a presentation by Dr. Gregory Dale on 'the art of coaching.’ Next came a presentation by Dennis Goodwin on identifying hazing and bullying in athletic programs. Lastly, Dale came back with a second presentation, this one on helping the parents of student-athletes maintain a proper perspective.
In between presentations, drawings were held and the school officials could meet with vendors on a variety of products and services.
Spanish Springs athletic director Art Anderson had heard Dale speak before and he heaped praise on both of his presentations Friday.
"The way he presents his message is what makes him special," Anderson said. "I think it's his background that gives him credibility. When he's working with Coach K and the people at Duke, you know this guy knows his stuff.
"I'd like us to look into bringing him to northern Nevada to speak with our coaches. He would be great."
While Anderson specifically had high praise for Dale, he also said the NADA conference traditionally is beneficial for he and his counterparts around the state.
"To make contact with your fellow ADs is always interesting. We're all here for the same reason. We all may be a little biased toward our own schools, but we all believe that we want the best for our student athletes. That's the point that comes across every year."