The WIAA Board of Control named Stephanie Hauser as the next executive director of the WIAA, it was announced Friday night.
Hauser will replace the retiring Dave Anderson.
“I am grateful and so proud to have been offered the opportunity to serve our diverse membership and to move education-based athletics forward,” Hauser said in a WIAA release. “Our member schools are facing challenging times, and I look forward to supporting and involving them in the process as we embrace this new chapter together.”
Hauser becomes the first female to serve as executive director in the 125-year history of the WIAA.
She is preceded by P.F. Neverman from 1924-51, Clifford Fagan 1951-57, John Roberts from 1957-85, Doug Chickering from 1986-2009 and then Anderson.
“We are excited to announce Stephanie Hauser as the next executive director,” WIAA Board of Control president Eric Russell said in the release. “Stephanie brings great experience, plans and excitement to the position, and we are proud to have her represent the membership.”
Hauser will begin her new role in July, working in the transition with Anderson.
Anderson’s retirement as executive director becomes effective July 31, 2021.
Hauser has served as an assistant director with the WIAA since joining the executive staff July 6, 2015.
The WIAA Board of Control had its April meeting on Friday.
Last month, the WIAA announced that second interviews with finalists were scheduled for this week (April 15).
Finalists were Hauser, WIAA deputy director Wade Labecki, Stratford superintendent Scott Winch and Waterford superintendent and business manager Luke Francois. Francois’ experience included being Middleton athletic director, Mineral Point school district superintendent and Sauk Prairie executive director of business services.
Hauser’s accomplishments since joining the WIAA include the administration and coordination of her current duties for the sports of gymnastics, volleyball and softball, as well as cross country and track and field prior to the hiring of Kate Peterson Abiad in the spring of 2018.
Hauser is credited with leading the conference realignment task force committee, creating the WIAA Award of Excellence and Spirit of Sport Award, implementing a fifth division in softball, establishing innovative co-op team classifications in gymnastics, supervising the move of the boys volleyball state tournament to the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon and negotiating partnerships with sponsors and a number of convention and visitors bureaus, according to the release.
Hauser also has been active at the national level since joining the executive staff with involvement in National Federation of State High School Associations programs. She has served as the chairperson for the NFHS Gymnastics Rules Committee, a mentor for the NFHS Leadership Program and has had a role on the NFHS Student Services Committee. She also has conducted a number of NFHS Summer Meeting presentations.
Hauser came to the WIAA executive staff from Stevens Point Area Senior High School, where she served eight years as the athletic administrator and assistant principal.
Prior to her administrative role in Stevens Point, she was the assistant principal and activities director in the New London School District from 2003-07.
She also had coaching experience at the high school level, according to the WIAA.
Those included stints as varsity volleyball coach at Cumberland High School in 1991, Pulaski High School from 1993-97, Bay Port High School from 1998-99 and at Winneconne High School from 2000-03.
Other coaching experience came at the junior varsity level as softball coach at Cumberland in 1991 and at Green Bay Southwest High School from 1992-94, where she also coached the junior varsity basketball team.
As a former teacher, her experience in the classroom included teaching chemistry and science-related courses.
She was a member of the WIAA Sports Advisory Committee from 2009-15 and a member of the Volleyball Coaches Advisory Committee.
Hauser also conducted presentations at the WIAA New Athletic Director Workshop and the WIAA Sportsmanship Summit.
In 2013, she was named the District 2 Athletic Director of the Year by the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.
Other leadership experience includes serving as president of the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association and as chair of the WADA District 2 Representative and Scholarship Committee.
She is a 1991 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a degree in secondary chemistry education and received a master’s degree in education leadership from Marian College in 1997.
She was a member of the UW-Superior women’s basketball and softball teams, and was named team captain and most valuable player of the women’s volleyball team, receiving all-conference honorable mention.
Hauser and her husband, Dave, have three adult children, Nicki, Sam and Joey.
Sam Hauser played men’s basketball at Virginia this past season after playing at Marquette.
Joey Hauser played men’s basketball at Michigan State this past season after also playing at Marquette.