by Cassie Mattia

Columbus, Ohio – On Tuesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) introduced their new Executive Director, Doug Ute, making him the 11th person to fulfill the prestigious position!

Ute, a Bellville, Ohio native, began his journey in 1988 when he became a part-time business teacher and a basketball coach at Noble Local Schools. Eventually, he went on to teach, coach, and fulfill the athletic administrator position at Buckeye Central High School. 

Over the last 20 years, Ute acted as school Superintendent, 9 of those years being at Marion Elgin Local Schools and 11 of those years being at Newark City Schools. During Ute’s time at Newark, he created the Social, Emotional, and Academic Success (SEAS) program. The SEAS program allows counselors, teachers, and staff to get together and discuss ways to help their students succeed in life. Ute also expanded the free lunch program and made free breakfast available to all students. With all of Ute’s hard work and efforts at Newark, the school district had its highest graduation rate of all time.

Ute went on to accept the position as Deputy Director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, but shortly after was asked to fill the Executive Director position with the OHSAA.

Ute said in a press release sent out by the OHSAA that he has always had the mindset of a coach and athletic director so OHSAA would be the perfect place for him to be.

“I am humbled to be selected by the Board of Directors for this position and join a great team at the OHSAA office. We are all aware of the uncertainties that are before us due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I know that together we can and will be stronger together,” Ute explained, “My focus has always been on helping students become better people, and athletics are such an important part in that. That is true now more than ever. I can’t wait to get started and help lead our member schools.”

President of the OHSAA Board of Directors and Athletic Director at Mentor High School, Jeff Cassella, expressed his excitement for bringing Ute onto the OHSAA team in OHSAA’s press release.

“We are excited to have someone lead our organization with Doug’s experience, both in working with student-athletes and with his experience in the workings of the OHSAA,” Cassella said, “The Board of Directors is confident that Doug’s leadership style and experience is a great fit to lead the OHSAA through this unique year.”

Ute played basketball at Ashland University and graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Administration and Marketing. He later earned his Master’s Degree in School Administration, a Graduate Teaching Degree in Business, A Principal’s License, and a Superintendent’s License from Ashland University. Ute and his wife Kory, now have 4 children and 8 grandchildren.

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