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Bill proposing stipend for high school athletic directors could return in next legislative session

High school football team
Alexander Schimmeck
High school football team during a practice.

A bill proposing to include stipends for high school athletic directors stalled out in the recent session of the Utah State Legislature - but it could return in the next session.

Sponsored by Sen. Mike McKell, the bill was designed to include up to a $5,000 stipend intended for high school athletic directors. In Utah where there’s 67,000 high schoolers participating in varsity sports, only a third of high school athletic directors are certified. The bill in question would encourage athletic directors to get certified due to the high risk for injury and lawsuits associated with the field.

Unlike teachers, principals, and librarians who all need to be certified to work at a school, athletic directors don’t despite being responsible for the safety of students and staff.

Marc Hunter, long-time athletic director at Jordan High School, says that anybody could be made an athletic director as long as they have a pulse. Hunter supports McKell’s bill and wants the state legislature to encourage athletic directors into getting certified by offering incentives of up to $5,000 a year.

McKell wants to bring the stipend bill to the floor in the next session.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.