INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (July 21, 2021) – Rob Cuff, executive director of the Utah High School Activities Association (USHAA), is the new president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for 2021-22. Cuff, the 62nd president of the NFHS, began his one-year term July 2 following the NFHS Summer Meeting, which was held this year in Orlando, Florida.
Sally Marquez, executive director of the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA), was elected by the NFHS Board of Directors to the position of president-elect for the upcoming year.
The following individuals were approved by the NFHS National Council for four-year terms on the NFHS Board of Directors: Bob Lombardi, executive director, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Section 2; Dan Swartos, executive director, South Dakota High School Activities Association, Section 5; and Lisa Quednow, activities director, Austin (Minnesota) High School, at large, Sections 5 and 8.
In addition, Que Tucker, commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), was appointed to the Board of Directors for one year to fill the unexpired Section 3 term of Steve Savarese, who retired as executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association earlier this month. Savarese had been scheduled to serve as president in his final year.
Cuff has been executive director of the UHSAA since August 2009 after serving as assistant director of the association for eight years. During his time as assistant director, Cuff was director of baseball, basketball, drill team, football, music, soccer, softball and volleyball. He also directed the UHSAA’s coaches education program.
Before joining the UHSAA, Cuff coached basketball at Orem (Utah) Mountain View High School for 12 years – seven as head coach – earning the title as winningest coach in Mountain View boys basketball history and leading the teams to two state championships. He is a former president of the Utah High School Basketball Coaches Association. He also was an English teacher and athletic administrator at Mountain View and was named Teacher of the Year at the school.
Cuff was tournament director of the Great Basin Basketball Tournament, served as a member of the executive board of the Utah Basketball Tip-Off Club and was a member of the executive board of the Utah County Football Officials Association.
Cuff previously served an eight-year stint on the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee, including the final four years as chair. He also was a member of the NFHS Appeals Board and is a former member of the Football Rules Committee, serving as chair of the Games Administration Committee from 2008 to 2012. Previously, he was a member of the NFHS National Records Committee and two NFHS Strategic Planning Committees. In addition to his service on the Board of Directors, Cuff is a member of the NFHS Hall of Fame Screening Committee.
Cuff, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his master’s from the University of Phoenix, was a high school football official for 12 years and officiated three state championship games.
Marquez has served as executive director of the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) since September 2012. She began her career at the NMAA in 2004 as associate director and was promoted to assistant executive director in July 2011. In addition to the day-to-day operations of the NMAA, Marquez handles basketball, spirit, classifications, and speech and debate.
Prior to joining the NMAA, Marquez held a variety of positions in New Mexico, Virginia and Texas, including mathematics teacher, dean of students, assistant principal and director of personnel. Among her coaching positions, Marquez coached girls and boys basketball, track and field, and soccer. Marquez is in her 38th year of education.
A graduate of Albuquerque (New Mexico) Manzano High School, where she was a three-sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, track and field), Marquez earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and her master’s degree from Virginia Tech University. She was a four-year member of the women’s basketball team at the University of New Mexico. She was inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
In additional to her service on the NFHS Board of Directors, Marquez has been a member of several other NFHS committees, including the Equity Committee, Volleyball Rules Committee, Basketball Rules Committees, Strategic Planning Committee and the NFHS Foundation Board of Directors.
Nationally, Marquez and Tucker are two of the six females serving as directors of a state high school association, including Rhonda Blanford-Green of the Colorado High School Activities Association, Colleen Maguire of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, Donna Polk of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association and Stephanie Hauser of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Lombardi has been a member of the PIAA administrative staff for the past 33 years and has been the organization’s executive director since 2012.
As one of the nation’s longest-tenured state association administrators, Lombardi has served the PIAA in a number of ways since joining in the staff in 1988. He has been tournament director for many PIAA championships in 10 different sports, including baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, field hockey, soccer, softball, track and field, and wrestling. He served as assistant executive director and associate executive director prior to assuming the head position nine years ago.
Lombardi, who earned his bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University and his doctorate in sports administration from the University of New Mexico, is recognized as the founding father of the PIAA Officials Convention. At the national level, Lombardi was chair of the NFHS Soccer Rules Committee, and he served a term on the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee.
Swartos has been executive director of the South Dakota association since July 2017 and is only the seventh person to serve in that role in SDHSAA history dating to 1915.
Prior to joining the South Dakota association, Swartos was superintendent of the McCook Central School District in Salem, South Dakota, where he served for five years. During his time in Salem, Swartos also coached football. Previously, he was superintendent of the Big Stone City School District for four years, and he was a special education teacher and football and wrestling coach at Brookings High School.
Recently retired after 21 years I the South Dakota Army National Guard with the 740th Transportation Company and 147th Army Band, Swartos was deployed as a truck driver in the Operation Iraqi Freedom from February 2003 to August 2004.
Swartos received his bachelor’s degree from Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, his master’s from South Dakota State University and his doctorate from the University of South Dakota. In other service at the national level, Swartos is a member of the NFHS Appeal Board and the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, and he served on the recent NFHS Strategic Planning Committee.
Quednow has been activities director at Austin High School since 2009. A native of Austin, Quednow attended Austin Pacelli High School and Austin Community College (now Riverland Community College).
After earning her master’s degree from St. Cloud State University, Quednow joined the staff at Riverland Community College as women’s athletic director, head softball coach, assistant women’s basketball coach and instructor in the physical education department.
In 2003, Quednow left Minnesota to become director of athletics at Clark College, a community college in Vancouver, Washington. She returned to Minnesota in 2009 and has served in her current position for the past 12 years.
During her time as activities director at Austin High School, Quednow has been involved with the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) on several fronts, including her current service on the MSHSL Board of Directors. In addition, she has been a member of the Athletic Directors Advisory Committee, MSHSL Representative Assembly and the League’s Education Committee. She has also served on the Region 1AA Executive Committee and Finance Committee, and she has facilitated section volleyball and softball tournaments.
Tucker, a member of the NCHSAA administrative staff since 1991, has led the organization as commissioner since December 2015 after serving as interim commissioner for several months.
As assistant executive director, Tucker developed the association’s Student Services Program, one of the unique offerings by a state association in the country. The program dealt with substance abuse education, leadership development, academic accountability and citizenship. She helped organize the Student-Athlete Summer Institute (SASI) programs across the state.
Tucker joined the NCHSAA staff after a stint as an assistant coach for the North Carolina State University women’s basketball program under storied head coach Kay Yow. Among her duties there was to oversee the team’s academic progress.
Before entering the collegiate ranks, Tucker was a highly successful coach at Reidsville Senior High School. She compiled a career win-loss mark of 145-104 from 1978 through 1988 and posted a 58-16 mark as a volleyball head coach.
Tucker is a charter member of the Mars Hill College Athletic Hall of Fame and was an assistant basketball coach in the East-West all-star game conducted by the North Carolina Coaches Association in 1989. She also has a background in officiating, serving as a game official in volleyball, basketball, and softball.