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Prep sports: MSHSL's Stead to step down

Minnesota State High School League Executive Director Dave Stead announced to the Board of Directors Tuesday he will transition to senior staff, effective Feb. 1.

Minnesota State High School League Executive Director Dave Stead announced to the Board of Directors Tuesday he will transition to senior staff, effective Feb. 1.

Stead, in his 31st year with the League, has been the executive director since 1988. He is just the sixth executive director in the 101-year history of the League, an organization of 525-member schools. He is the longest serving executive director in MSHSL history and the second-longest serving in the nation.

"This is an opportunity to transition and serve the League in a different way," Stead said.

When Stead, a native of Monticello, Iowa, shared his interest in transitioning to another role, he quoted former Iowa High School Athletic Association director Bernie Saggau: "It's not about you. It's about how you connect with others and making things better for them."

Under Stead's leadership, the League has been a national leader in enhancing education-based activities. The Minnesota State High School League was the first state association in the nation to provide opportunities for student participants in girls' hockey, adapted athletics, Robotics and Clay Target. Minnesota also was the first state association to implement instant replay during state tournament games.

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Academic recognition programs were also implemented and have flourished during Stead's tenure. Outreach projects developed during his leadership include Team Up, Anyone Can Save A Life and Why We Play.

Stead, whose education career spans five decades, has served in many roles with the National Federation of State High School Associations, including its board president from 2004-2005.

Stead and his wife, Cathy, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, have two daughters, Tracy and Kelly, and three grandchildren.

"Cathy and I look forward to this new role and the continued success of the League," Stead said.

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