Announcements and Important Events
A quarter-century as an athletics director has led to a big honor for Pete Huse.
Huse, who is in his sixth year as athletics director at Columbus East, has been named the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s District IV Charles Maas Service Award winner. He is one of six district winners who are up for the state’s overall award, which will be announced at a banquet March 21.
“It’s definitely an honor,” Huse said. “It means a lot to have been nominated. Then, it’s more of a feeling now that I’m making sure I’m living hard to live up to it, and people aren’t asking, ‘How did that guy win?'”
District IV, which goes as far north as Jay County, and south to Jefferson County, encompasses most of East Central and Southeast Indiana. Huse was nominated by Paul Heidenreich of Yorktown and voted on by ADs in District IV.
“It’s more like a lifetime achievement award,” Huse said. “You have to have been in the business for awhile. Each district looks at who has years of service, and they choose a district winner.”
The past nine years, Huse has been a member of the IIAAA board as its sports proposal chair. He works with coaches associations in all 20 IHSAA sports.
“When they want to make a rule change, I work with them to present a rule change to the IHSAA board of directors,” Huse said. “It’s pretty time consuming. With all the sports and all the rules, there’s a lot that goes into that.”
One of the coaches Huse has worked with in the IIAAA is recently-retired East football coach Bob Gaddis, who is the executive director of the Indiana Football Coaches Association. Huse also has worked with Columbus North boys golf coach Doug Bieker, who has been president of the Indiana Golf Coaches Association.
“When the football coaches came with their version of limited contact, Bob and I worked on that together,” Huse said. “I’m just basically kind of giving them the guidelines of how to propose it. We give them feedback so they can go to the IHSAA and propose it before them.”
Huse began his career as an athletics director in 1996 at Washington Township near Valparaiso. After two years there, he spent one year at River Forest, two years at Rensselaer Central, six years at Danville and eight years at Greenwood before coming to East in 2015.
In 2012, while Huse was at Greenwood, former Whiteland athletics director Butch Zike, who was leaving the IIAAA board, recommened to incoming president Brad Holsinger of Avon that he reach out to Huse about joining the board.
“I was wanting to get involved on the board, and that was my opportunity,” Huse said. “It was something that I’ve enjoyed.”
The past year has been much different and more challenging than any of the previous 24 in Huse’s career because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the best way to describe it is that he’s felt like he’s had to completely learn his job all over again.
“I truly feel like my day is not over until I wake up the next day,” Huse said. “It’s like in the spring when you have all these storms coming in, and you’re wondering, ‘Are we going to have to reschedule this game, or how many games are we going to have to reschedule?’ Now, it’s making sure the livestream is working correctly and making sure people aren’t sitting on top of each other in the gym and masks are being worn.”
Huse said this is the first year being an athletics director has felt like a job.
“Before, being an athletic director was something I was passionate about, and you’re looking forward to going to big games and seeking kids play,” Huse said. “Now, you’re looking at it as work and hoping you see the light at the end of the tunnel.”