By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts has been elected to serve a four-year term on the Board of Directors for the National Federation of State High School Associations, the national governing body for high school athletics and activities.
Roberts has served as executive director since 1986 and is the longest-tenured active state association executive director among NFHS members. The MHSAA is one of the nation’s largest state associations with more than 1,400 high schools and junior high/middle schools. The NFHS, in its press release on new officers and board members, called Roberts "one of the nation’s most articulate advocates for education-based activity programs."
After graduating from P. J. Jacobs High School in Stevens Point, Wis., and Dartmouth College and attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Roberts taught English and coached football at high schools in Milwaukee and Denver until 1973, when he joined the staff of the NFHS, which at that time was located in Elgin, Illinois.
From 1973 to 1980, Roberts developed the NFHS’ volleyball, swimming & diving and ice hockey rules programs, and re-codified the Soccer Rules Book. Later, as assistant director, he was in charge of public, legislative and judicial affairs for the NFHS.
Roberts joined the staff of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in 1981 and was named executive vice president of the FCA in 1984. He served in that capacity until 1986, when he was named executive director of the MHSAA.
Roberts served a previous term on the NFHS Board of Directors from 1996 to 2000 and has been chairman of the NFHS Network Board of Directors since 2013. He also has served on two previous NFHS Strategic Planning Committees and is past chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives.
PHOTO: MHSAA Executive Director Jack Roberts congratulates an MHSAA/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete Award winner at the Breslin Center.