• Michigan

Mark Uyl named to replace Jack Roberts as Executive Director of the MHSAA

By: Tom Markowski, May 8, 2018, 1:58 pm





East Lansing – Kudos to the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association. On Tuesday they chose the right person to replace outgoing Executive Director Jack Roberts, who, on April 24, said he would retire in August.

Uyl has been with the MHSAA since 2004 and an assistant director. Included among his expertise is his with officials, and many associate Uyl with being the person who is responsible for the development and recruitment of officials. But that would be selling him short. He’s a person who has shown the ability to work with anyone within the MHSAA and the coaches and administrators throughout the state.

In addition to this, Uyl, at age 44, is relatively young and this is important when dealing with younger coaches and administrators who have entered the scene of high school sports in recent years. And he’s willing to listen to concerns. One might not agree with his assessment of a certain situation but he remains open about the possibilities for change, and not just change for change sake, but for the good of high school athletics.

Specifically, there has been interest recently in changing, tweaking is perhaps a better word, the format for the basketball tournament and football playoffs.

Seeding has been a hot topic with regards to the basketball tournaments, both boys and girls.

In football the playoffs the concern is how teams qualify. The six-win and you’re in criteria has become antiquated, many contend, and has led some coaches to load their nonleague schedule with cupcakes to ensure those six victories. A move toward weighing more heavily on the strength of schedule to determine playoff qualifiers has turned many a head. The council voted down a proposal, 9-7, on Monday which would have created eight equal divisions for the playoffs. Teams would have qualified for the playoffs based on playoff points, not total wins.

Brad Bush, the former head football coach at Chelsea and a past-president of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association, said he was pleased with the announcement of Uyl’s step up in the MHSAA. Bush, just as Roberts was quoted in the MHSAA news release, said Uyl was the obvious choice.

Bush, who also serves as a liaison between the MHSFCA and the MHSAA, said his association has had a good relationship with Uyl and looked forward to working with him in the future.

Dan Young, the vice president of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM), was also pleased with Tuesday’s announcement.

“I would have voted for him,” Young said of Uyl. “He would be a very approachable guy. Time will tell.”

 Uyl was quoted as saying that Roberts has left a legacy and that he wishes to follow up on that legacy and, at the same time, look “for new ways and new opportunities to best serve the students and our member schools in Michigan.”