Four athletic administrators who additionally have made significant contributions at the league, state and MHSAA tournament levels – Robin Dilday of Utica, Robert Dowd of Troy, Curt Ellis of Saline and Greg Lattig of Mason – have been named the recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Allen W. Bush Award for 2012.
Al Bush served as executive director of the MHSAA for 10 years. The award honors individuals for past and continuing service to prep athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. The award was developed to bring recognition to men and women who are giving and serving without a lot of attention. This is the 21st year of the award, with the selections being made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.
Dilday has been a leader not only in his home school district of Utica, but as a voice throughout Macomb Country. A graduate of Utica High School, Dilday has worked in education 38 years and for Utica Community Schools for the last 28, including the past 18 as District Athletic Director.
He’s taken a leadership role in numerous projects starting with the expansion of athletic program offerings and the development of a coaches handbook and student-athlete code of conduct for his schools. He’s also worked at the forefront of efforts to construct gymnasiums, stadiums and other athletic venues, hosted various MHSAA tournaments and served on several MHSAA committees.
Dilday is in his 18th year as president of the Macomb County Athletic Directors Association and also works with the Macomb County Special Olympics and as community fundraising chair for his district’s middle school sports programs. He was named to the Utica High School Hall of Fame in 2011. Dilday earned his bachelor’s degree in radio and television communications from Michigan State, received teaching certification in social studies from Central Michigan University and then his master’s degree in educational leadership from Wayne State University.
“Robin Dilday has provided stable leadership through the changes and challenges high school athletics have faced during his nearly four decades of service,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “He has experienced high school athletics from a variety of perspectives – athlete, coach and administrator – and worked to provide the best for those in every position. He has done so while managing multiple schools in a large district. We are pleased to honor Robin Dilday with the Bush Award.”
Dowd might be known best in Oakland County for his contributions to lacrosse dating back more than two decades. But as an assistant principal and the athletic director at Troy Athens High School the past 16 years, Dowd also has hosted MHSAA Finals in five sports and a variety of tournaments at the District, Regional and Semifinal levels.
He served as president of the Michigan Scholastic Lacrosse Association from 1990-94 and then as executive director from 1996-2004. Dowd was named the Michigan High School Lacrosse Coaches Association Man of the Year in 2006 and was selected for the MHSLCA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Dowd has served on the MHSAA’s lacrosse committee, as well as those for soccer officials, gymnastics, tennis and hockey. He’s the committee chair for the Oakland Activities Association boys and girls lacrosse committee and previously served as chair of the football and soccer committees. He was named Oakland County Athletic Director of the Year in 2009. Dowd earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies and a master’s in history from the State University of New York at Cortland. He also earned a master’s in K-12 administration from Michigan State University.
“Robert Dowd’s contributions – particularly as a Finals host – have been invaluable to the MHSAA,” Roberts said. “He is a passionate supporter of high school athletics. That is evident in how he is always a reliable source both of input and assistance. All make him a worthy recipient of the Bush Award.”
Ellis served as an athletic administrator in Michigan for 16 years, including the last eight at Novi High School before leaving the district in the fall to become Executive Director of Human Resources for Saline Area Schools. His Novi athletic program was a recipient of the Exemplary Athletic Program Award from the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
He’s served as a tournament manager for multiple MHSAA ice hockey and soccer Finals over the last decade and for more than 125 District and Regional tournaments since 1997. He’s also served on the ice hockey, volleyball, officials and site selection committees, among others.
Additionally, Ellis has served in various leadership roles statewide. He was president of the Oakland County Athletic Administrators Association in 2002-03 and joined the MIAAA executive board in 2008. He was named OCAAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2007 and MIAAA Region 11 Athletic Director of the Year in 2007, and is a regular speaker at the MIAAA’s Mid-Winter Conference. Ellis earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Eastern Michigan University and is pursuing his master’s in educational leadership also at EMU.
“Curt Ellis has been a consistent source of leadership and a true advocate of high school athletics,” Roberts said. “He has brought great perspective to those working with him both locally and through the MIAAA, and been of great assistance in his work as an MHSAA tournament host. We’re pleased to honor him with the Bush Award.”
Lattig has served four school districts – Mason, Eaton Rapids, Leslie and Lansing Christian – as a coach or administrator. Also a host of numerous MHSAA tournaments and member of various committees, Lattig twice served as president of the Capital Area Activities Conference and previously was secretary of the Capital Circuit league.
A Certified Master Athletic Administrator, Lattig also has served on various MIAAA committees —including as co-chair of the scholarship committee – and as a regional representative to that body. He has guided the athletic department at Mason the last four years after nine at Eaton Rapids. He coached varsity track at Leslie and middle school basketball at Lansing Christian.
Lattig earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management and communications from the University of Michigan and his master’s in athletic administration from Michigan State University.
“Greg Lattig has provided a significant voice during the evolution of the Capital Area Activities Conference over the last decade, and is a helpful source of input both to the MIAAA and MHSAA,” Roberts said. “His understanding of the complex lives of students and desire to help them achieve are admirable traits that make him an excellent choice for the Bush Award.”