Q&A with new Idaho High School Activities Association director

rroberts@idahostatesman.comJanuary 23, 2014 

Ty Jones, his wife and three children are going to have to start making plans to relocate to the Treasure Valley soon.

Jones, 49, was chosen as the next executive director of the Boise-based Idaho High School Activities Association at a board meeting Wednesday morning.

Jones, the current Superintendent of the Hagerman School District, takes over July 1 for John Billetz, who is retiring after leading the association for eight years.

Jones’ primary responsibilities will be to ensure student safety and fairness in extracurricular activities — including athletics, spirit, music and speech arts — for the 158 member schools in Idaho.

The job posting for the executive director position listed the salary as no less than $95,000 per year.

Jones talked with Idaho Statesman Varsity Extra reporter Rachel Roberts on Wednesday.

Question: What is your educational background, both high school and college?

Answer: I went to high school at Twin Falls and graduated in 1983. From there I spent two years at the College of Southern Idaho and then went to Boise State and graduated with a degree in political science. Then I got my masters — my principalship and my superintendency degree — from the University of Idaho.

Q: Did you participate in athletics as a high school or college student?

A: I was so fortunate to be around so many great coaches and teachers, and it is what pushed me into education. My dad was my high school football coach and Jerry Kleinkopf, who is a track legend in Idaho, he was my high school track coach. I played high school football, and I’m not going to tell you I played a bunch, because I didn’t, but they were great experiences.

Q: What is your coaching background?

A: The first sport that I coached was cross country at O’Leary Junior High in Twin Falls. I did that for a year. Mostly, I coached football and basketball. I was the head boys basketball coach at Gooding and also the head football coach at Gooding for a while.

Q: What drove you to apply for the executive director position?

A: So many years ago, my dad introduced me to Bill Young, who was the executive director before John (Billetz), and I actually worked for John at Minico High School for a year. Just watching those two guys and the way they handled themselves and then the opportunity to slowly get involved with some of the IHSAA activities and helping out with some of their tournaments just kind of led me to believe that that might not be a bad job to maybe have someday. When it opened up this time I thought, ‘You know what, let’s give it a shot and throw your name in the ring and see what happens.’ I am just so fortunate to have the opportunity to follow John and hopefully we’ll continue in all the good things that he’s been doing.”

Q: What will you be doing until you take over as executive director?

A: We still have a school year to finish (at Hagerman) and I’m excited to have the opportunity to do that, but I know there’s also going to be some times that I’ll be traveling up to Boise and kind of starting to go through the paces so that we can hit the ground running and everything is not completely foreign to me come July 1.

Q: Is there one issue you want to address or take on once you take over?

A: I want to continue to follow the goals that the IHSAA has already set. I do know that concussion protocol and management of the plan that the association has already set up is somewhat of a priority as far as continuing to do what they have started. As far as any major goals or plans coming in, like, ‘We are going to do this from day one,’ no. I’ve never really operated that way. The association has been going in a pretty good direction for quite a long time, and I want to kind of sit back and see what’s going on before I jump headfirst into something.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service