Will McKoy realized fairly early in his sports career at Northwest Halifax High School in Littleton, N.C., that he likely wouldn’t be picking up a college scholarship playing basketball or competing in track & field.
But he did figure out during those experiences what he wanted to do in college and after, thanks to the impact made on him by his basketball coach.
“He was the athletic director as well, and I thought that was the coolest job,” McKoy said. “From early on, when I was in high school, I knew that’s what I wanted to do – be a basketball coach and athletic director.”
McKoy got a taste of coaching while a student assistant from 2006-09 at Wayne State University. And when he graduated that spring, that’s what he figured he’d do next – teach physical education and coach basketball, landing a job at Detroit Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Arts. He would work toward landing an athletic director’s job eventually.
Two weeks after he was hired, and before school had even begun, eventually showed up – his new school needed an AD, and McKoy jumped in.
He learned quickly, and on the fly. And a decade later, his role in school sports has grown to include a statewide voice with an opportunity to make that level of impact daily, drawing on experiences as district athletic director, conference president, member of the MHSAA’s Representative Council as well as a Division I college football official and sergeant in the U.S. Army.
McKoy has been named to an assistant director’s position with the MHSAA, effective in mid-July. He will serve as the administrator for football and girls and boys basketball, among other responsibilities. He will be taking up many of the duties of current assistant director Nate Hampton, who will be retiring in July after 32 years on staff.
McKoy has served as district athletic director for Summit Academy North Schools in Romulus since 2011 after previously serving two years as athletic director at Henry Ford Academy. He also has served as president, vice president, and commissioner of multiple sports for the Charter School Conference, while working as an NCAA football official since 2009.
He has provided advocacy for schools statewide and perspective particularly from the Metro Detroit and charter school communities during his two years serving on the Representative Council, and those connections will continue to be valuable in his new role, as will his variety of past experiences.
“To me, the opportunity to affect change at the next level, and then working with a diverse group within the entire state – not just my niche, but the entire state – is exciting to me,” McKoy said. “Vitally for me, and I think part of the attraction of the position, was trying to figure out ways to bridge the gap between the suburbs, rural schools and city schools, particularly with some of the needs of the Detroit Public Schools and charter schools as well, trying to help them be successful with everything the MHSAA does to support those schools.”
Summit Academy North opened in 1996 for students grades K-5 and expanded instruction to include K-12 the following year, and athletics have increased their overall success substantially under McKoy.
He has increased the number of opportunities at all levels – notably with the creation of elementary intramurals and expansion of the middle and high school athletic program from 19 to a peak of 41 teams for grades 7-12, including 17 on the varsity level. Nine of those varsity teams have won a league title during his tenure. The baseball team has won eight conference championships with McKoy as AD, the softball team six and the boys cross country team last fall won its 10th-straight league title and sent a runner to the MHSAA Finals for the second-straight year.
The school’s boys basketball varsity advanced to the Division 2 Quarterfinals this season, after winning its first District and Regional championships. The football team has amassed its best four-year stretch (25-13), the bowling programs have sent at least one competitor to the Finals four straight seasons and the girls track & field team this spring won its first league title. The volleyball, girls soccer, boys soccer, girls cross country and wrestling teams also have won either a league or District title under his leadership of the department.
McKoy also oversaw the expansion of the Charter School Conference from eight to its current 16 member schools.
“We’re tremendously excited to have Will joining our staff,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “His background, experience and energy are something we are thrilled to have in our building.”
McKoy received his certified athletic administrator (CAA) designation from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) in 2014. He was named his region’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2019 by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA). In addition to the MIAAA and NIAAA, McKoy is a member of the Michigan Collegiate Football Officials Association (MCFOA) and Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM).
His officiating experience has included working at the Division I level in the Mid-American Conference and Missouri Valley Conference. He also worked from 2014-16 and again during 2017-18 with the National Football League as an instant replay booth and field communicator and K-Ball coordinator.
McKoy is honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, having served as a human resources sergeant from 1999-2004 with assignments in Germany, Kuwait and also Iraq for 13 months during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2009 from Wayne State University, and a master’s in sports administration from Wayne State in 2011.
McKoy is married to wife Terri McKoy and the father of sons William Jr. and Winston.
PHOTOS courtesy of William McKoy and Romulus Summit Academy North schools.