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OHSAA Staff

Doug Ute
Executive Director Since September 8, 2020
 
Doug Ute was announced as the Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association on September 8, 2020. Ute, a former coach, teacher, athletic administrator, principal and superintendent, is the OHSAA’s 11th leader in its 113-year history.
 
Ute takes over at the OHSAA post after spending the last 20 years as a school superintendent, including nine years at Marion Elgin Local Schools and the last 11 years at Newark City Schools. He also coached and taught at Noble Local Schools in eastern Ohio and Buckeye Central High School, which is near his hometown of Bellville in north central Ohio.
 
In the spring of 2020, Ute announced he was stepping down from his post at Newark to become Deputy Director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), which is the state’s superintendent’s association. Instead of serving Ohio schools at BASA, he will do so from the OHSAA.
 
“I have always thought like a former coach and athletic director, and the OHSAA is where I want to be,” said Ute. “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. 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.”
 
At Newark, Ute helped create the Social, Emotional and Academic Success (SEAS) program that includes counselors, teachers and staff to discuss ways to help students succeed in life. While at Newark, a district of 6,500 students, he expanded the free lunch program, made free breakfast available to all students, and put a strong emphasis on student and family social and emotional health. The school district responded with its highest-ever graduation rate and a renewed sense of pride in the city and school district.
 
“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,” said Jeff Cassella, President of the OHSAA Board of Directors and Athletic Director at Mentor High School. “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 began his career in 1988 as a basketball coach and part-time business teacher at Noble Local Schools (Shenandoah High School) in Sarahsville in eastern Ohio. He then went to Buckeye Central in New Washington as a teacher and coach, while also serving as the athletic administrator. In 1996 he became the principal at Marion Elgin and then took over as superintendent in 2000 at Elgin, a district of 1,500 students. Ute became superintendent in Newark in 2009. He served on the OHSAA’s Central District Athletic Board in 2008-09 and has been the Central District’s secretary since the 2011-12 school year.
 
Ute was a standout student-athlete at Clear Fork High School, graduating in 1980, and played basketball at Ashland University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. He would later return to Ashland to earn a master’s degree in school administration, a graduate teaching degree in business, a principal’s license and a superintendent’s license.
 
Ute and his wife, Kory, have four children and eight grandchildren.
 

Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl

Chief Operating Officer Since October 13, 2020

Kiehl came to the OHSAA after years as an accomplished non-profit leader and former educator, including stops at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and Ohio History Connection, both in Columbus, and she was as a tenured faculty member at The Ohio State University for 10 years. 
 
In this key leadership role at the OHSAA, Dr. Kiehl will collaborate with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to refine and implement the OHSAA’s recently adopted strategic plan while ensuring that the budget, staff and priorities are aligned with the Association’s core mission. She will have oversight of policy making and maintaining organizational effectiveness as the OHSAA reorganizes its operating structure. 
 
Dr. Kiehl grew up in Corning, N.Y., and was selected after a thorough national search process. 
 
While she was the Director of the Museum of Ohio Project at the Ohio History Connection, Dr. Kiehl created the popular “Ohio – Champion of Sports” exhibit. She was a tenured faculty member at The Ohio State University for nearly a decade. 
 
Early Enrichment Center, where she led all operations of three early childhood schools located in the Smithsonian museums in the Washington, DC area. She also served two stints with the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, most recently as Senior Vice President of Experience and Operations, where she had oversight of the daily operations of the building, exhibits, education programs, research and evaluation, diversity and inclusion and various other projects, both in the COSI building and across Ohio communities. 
 
Dr. Kiehl earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University. She has two adult children, both of whom were high school athletes in Ohio, and three grandchildren. 
 
 
Bob Goldring
Senior Director of Operations since August 7, 2008
Assistant Commissioner from June 9, 2005 to August 6, 2008
Director of Information Services from October 2, 1995 to June 8, 2005

 
Bob joined the Ohio High School Athletic Association in the fall of 1995 as Director of Information Services. He was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in June 2005 and served in that role until August 2008. During those 13 years, he was responsible for media and public relations; publications, and had oversight of the media at state tournaments and of the office webmaster. In that time he helped enhance the Association’s relationship with the media by providing more and timely information such as news releases, publishing the OHSAA Working With the Media Handbook for athletic administrators and tournament managers and the OHSAA Public Relations Guide for Coaches and creating and chairing the OHSAA Media Advisory Committee; upgraded all publications including state tournament souvenir programs, the quarterly Athlete magazine and the Year-in-Review magazine, and oversaw the enhancement of the OHSAA website and state tournament records and archives.
 
Promoted to Associate Commissioner for Operations prior to the 2008-09 school year, Bob’s main duties are to serve as the office’s chief liaison with the membership and staff in the absence of the Commissioner; plan in- and out-of-office staff and Board of Directors meetings; oversee the Director of Communications and his staff; assist in the areas of media and public relations, publications, marketing and promotions and budget planning, and oversee special projects. He has been involved in several OHSAA committees, including Media Advisory; Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity; Competitive Balance; Expanding Opportunities; District Athletic Board Review; Division I Football Tournament; Cross Country Tournament, and Association Outreach. Bob served as the OHSAA’s acting commissioner for a three-month period that ended in June 2016.
 
A 1977 graduate of Orrville High School, he holds two degrees from The Ohio State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in 1981 and a Master of Arts degree in sport management in 1982.
 
Bob’s previous work was in collegiate sports information offices. He was sports information director and assistant public relations director at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Ind.) from June 1983 to May 1984; assistant sports information director and athletic publications coordinator at Purdue University from June 1984 to April 1990, and assistant sports information director at Ohio State from May 1990 to September 1995. His publications at those institutions won 22 national and 16 district awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America. While at Ohio State, he taught a graduate course in the sport management program on sports public relations.
 
Bob and his wife, Terri, a middle school teacher with the Worthington City Schools, have two sons, Sam (21), a college student, and Max (14), a high school freshman. They reside in Powell. Bob has been a youth coach for his sons’ sports teams and has served on the Olentangy Local School District’s Communications Committee.
 
Beau Rugg
Senior Director of Officiating and Sport Management since August 1, 2017
Assistant Commissioner from from February 14, 2013 to July 31, 2017 
 
Beau joined the Ohio High School Athletic Association in the fall of 2012 as Interim Assistant Commissioner and was hired as Assistant Commissioner in February 2013. He oversees the OHSAA’s officiating program, which includes working with the 17,000-plus registered officials, working with each sport’s Director of Officials Development and overseeing and working with state and local rules interpreters, officiating instructors, officials assigners and local officials associations and secretaries, and he is the Association’s administrator for the sports of football and wrestling.
 
Beau’s previous full-time work was with The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Department of Recreational Sports. Starting in 1986, he served as assistant director and moved into two different associate director positions before retiring after 25 years in 2011. He directed a comprehensive intramural sports program encompassing 33 sports before shifting his duties to fundraising and directing marketing, sponsorships, facility scheduling, membership and customer service.
 
Beau has also had a strong tie with the OHSAA over the years, serving as a registered OHSAA contest official in the sports of football (six state tournament assignments) and basketball for over 30 years, when he also has been an officiating instructor in those two sports; the manager of the OHSAA State Track & Field Tournament for 22 years; the head runner for the OHSAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament for 25 years, and a member of the scoring and timing staff at the OHSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament for 17 years. In addition, Beau was an NCAA Division III football official for 10 years; has directed the track tournament in 25 of the 30 years in which he has volunteered for the Ohio Special Olympic Games, and has served on the timing staffs of OSU home football and men’s basketball games for over 25 years.
 
A native of Newark, Ohio, Beau graduated from Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts. He holds two degrees from Ohio State, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1980 and a Master of Arts degree in sport management in 1981. He has also completed doctoral work in physical education/sport management with a minor in business management.
 
Beau and his wife, Morena, reside in Upper Arlington. They have a daughter Meredith (28) and a son Sam (25).
 

Laura Vermilya

Controller
 
Laura Vermilya joined OHSAA as Controller on January 4, 2021.  Laura is a Certified Public Accountant and brings an extensive background in accounting, non-profit leadership, and athletics to this role.  
 
Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer,  Laura is responsible for overseeing and directing all day-to-day finance, accounting and reporting activities.  She is involved in presentations to the Board finance and audit committees and works closely with the senior leadership team. 
 
In her 30 years of professional experience, Laura has worked in all aspects of the accounting functions for a variety of different organizations. Her roles have included serving as Senior Auditor with Ernst & Young, Director of Finance for The American Ceramic Society and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and in Financial Planning, Reporting and Analysis positions for Limited Brands, Things Remembered, and Alliance Data.
 
An Ashland native, Laura earned four varsity letters in softball and was selected to the First Team All-State in softball in 1986 - the first year the OHSAA selected all-state players for girls fast pitch softball.  Laura held records for most runs and most home runs. She attended Baldwin-Wallace College and earned three varsity letters and All-American honors in softball and earned two varsity letters in soccer.  While in college, Laura served as a ball girl for the Cleveland Indians. Laura was inducted into the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
 
Laura resides in Worthington with her partner, Holly, and their two dogs. In her free time, Laura enjoys cycling, pickleball, book club and rooting on the Cleveland Browns and Indians.
 
 
 
Tyler Brooks
Director of Officiating/Sport Management
Sport Administrator for Wrestling, Football Administrative Support; Coordinator of Assigners, ArbiterOne - Use by Officials and Assigners, Coordinator of District Administrators & Local Officials Association Secretaries, Officials Hall of Fame Committee & Banquet, Meritorious Awards, myOHSAA Login Troubleshooting, Officiating Clinics and Regulations
 
 
 
Haley Dillon
Assistant Director of Finance and Accounting 
Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Catastrophic & Officials Insurance, Tournament Financial Reports, Scholarship Stipends
 
 
 
 
Molly Downard
Executive Administrative Assistant
Assistant to the Executive Director - Board of Directors & District Athletic Boards Liaison; Board Elections; Basketball State Tournament Ticketing; Referendum Voting; Agenda for Board of Directors Meetings; International Exchange Student Forms; OHSAA Foundation; General Appeals; New Administrator Workshop; Regional Update Meetings; Athletic Discussion Meetings
 
 
 
Ben Ferree
Assistant Director of Officiating/Sport Management

Athlete/Coach Ejections; Officials - Adult Education Classes, Registrations, Renewals, Records, Regulations, Football and Wrestling Administrative Support
 
 
 
 
Dale Gabor
Director of Sport Management
Sport Administrator for Cross Country and Track & Field;
 
 
 
Emily Gates
Director of Sport Management

Sport Administrator for Baseball, Field Hockey and Volleyball
 
 
 
 
 
Angie Lawler
Director of Officiating/Sport Management

Arbiter Sports - Use of Officials/Assigners; Officials Database Maintenance; Mailing Labels & Lists; Football Computer Rating System; Officials Support; State Interpretation Meeting Attendance FT; Tournament Official Assigners
 
 
 
 
Brenda Murray
Director of Membership Services
OHSAA Web Site Content, Design and Updates, Tournament Results, Media Relations and Tournament Credentials, OHSAA Calendar, Member School Directory, myOHSAA Project Liaison, Fundamentals of Coaching Coordinator, Enrollments (EMIS Reports) and Classifications
 
 
 
Kristin Ronai
Director of Compliance

Student Eligibility; Appeals Panel; Competitive Balance; Administrative Support for Gymnastics
 
 
 
 
 
Luke Sayers
VP & GM, OHSAA Sports Properties
 
 
 
 
 
Ron Sayers
Assistant Director of Membership Services

myOHSAA Support; Arbiter Support
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Walker
Director of Production and Building Services

Bulk mailings to schools & officials; Shipping & Receiving; Production of select OHSAA programs, publications, & materials; Maintain state tournament DVD library and orders; Roll ticket manager for regional and state tournaments; Coordinate and oversee all building maintenance; OHSAA fleet vehicle coordination
 
 
 
Jacki Windon
Assistant Director of Operations
Contracts, licensing, merchandise, ticketing