Award for Wagner well deserved for many reasons

December 5, 2010 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Congratulations are in order to Higley district athletic director Art Wagner, who recently was announced as one of eight recipients from around the U.S. of a National Citation given to outstanding high school athletic directors. The awards are to be presented Dec. 18 in Orlando, Fla., at the annual National Athletic Director's Conference. The awards are sponsored by the NFHS and the NIAAA.

I've known Wagner for pretty close to a decade and he is certainly deserving of the honor. Back in his days as athletic director at McClintock High, Wagner took on the responsibility of running invitationals in five different sports covering every sports season -- girls and boys volleyball, boys basketball, wrestling, baseball (two invitationals) and softball. McClintock also hosted conference playoff games in football  as well as other state tourmament events. The baseball and softball invitationals weren't just one- or two-day events. They covered four or five days and usually were conducted over spring break, limiting Wagner's ability to enjoy time off.

As busy as Wagner was helping coordinate those events and all they entail, he always managed to keep his cool with incessant demands from coaches, media and the like. Calm and pleasant under fire. Above all, people and student-athlete friendly.

Wagner is a current member of the AIA's executive board. The Higley district is helping provide its facilities to the AIA for state playoffs, which Wagner loves to offer up. The Higley district most recently hosted a couple of 3A quarterfinal football playoff games.

Again, a well-deserved honor, Art.