DEARBORN — Long-time Fordson High School staff meber Jeff DelGiudice was honored on Sunday, March 19 as the MIAAA Region 11 Athletic Director of the Year.
DelGiudice was one of 14 administrators statewide to be recognized at the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) event in Traverse City.
He started coaching at Fordson in 1989 and, after two years as a substitute, started teaching history in 1995. He became varsity boys’ basketball coach in 1996 at the age of 26. He continued coaching basketball and then tennis until becoming Fordson’s athletic director in 2008. Last fall, he announced that he plans to retire at the end of this school year.
In his time as athletic director, DelGiudice has led a complete renovation of the Fordson gymnasium and athletic facilities and created the Athletic Hall of Fame as a part of the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the school’s founding. He has also been a longtime member of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) and the MIAAA, and has served on many Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) committees. He also brought Fordson to the Kensington Lakes Athletic Association (KLAA) and serves his conference as the leader of the most challenging sport, football.
According to the MIAA, DelGiudice’s work has been long appreciated by his peers.
“Jeff has always been, and always will be viewed as a visionary leader across the State of Michigan,” longtime Novi and Royal Oak Athletic Director Brian Gordon wrote. “…Not only as a colleague, but also as a friend, I believe that Jeff DelGiudice is what is ‘right’ in educational athletics.”
The MIAAA also praised DelGiudice’s “ability, integrity and character” as shown in his ability to maintain positive relationships, even with rival schools.
“I have witnessed his ability to work collaboratively with others on helping provide the above and beyond opportunities for our student athletes that the KLAA prides itself on,” Dearborn High School Athletic Director Jeff Conway wrote. “…He is well respected by his peers, coaches, athletes and the parents at Fordson High School and is continually striving to make the student-athlete experience a better one for those who pass through Fordson’s halls.”
DelGiudice has made a lifelong commitment to the kids of the Dearborn community. He and his wife, Katie, are Dearborn residents and have two daughters, Jules and Cece. His service to his community includes raising more than $25,000 for the Karmanos Institute for Cancer Research through his assistance founding the Michael Guido Holiday Basketball Showcase and in his work with the Fordson Varsity Alumni Club to bring food and supplies to the community during pandemic relief efforts.
The MIAAA is a more than 50-year-old association with nearly 700 members serving as athletic administrators in numerous high school and junior high/middle schools in Michigan. As partners with the MHSAA, the MIAAA works to promote the educational value of interscholastic athletics and the role and profession of athletic director.
“The MIAAA is very proud to spotlight the work of Jeff DelGiudice, a man whose work and values best mirror those of the association,” the group said in announcing the award.
“I am very honored by this award from the MIAAA,” DelGiudice said upon receiving the award. “It is humbling to be honored by my colleagues, particularly the ultra-professional group of athletic directors in the KLAA. I share this award with the great coaches and friends that I have been so fortunate to work with over the years, and the student athletes it’s been my privilege to serve. Fordson has a very special place in my heart and I will always love to be a Tractor. Thanks to all of my administrators, and most importantly the colleagues and friends who helped shape my career, Mark Shooshanian, Chuck Silver and Jeff Conway.“
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