COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tributes continue to pour in on Twitter, as many across the Buckeye State respond to the abrupt departure of OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass by the association’s board of directors.
OHSAA Director of Communications Tim Stried says although it wasn’t a knee-jerk decision, the decision to remove Snodgrass was sudden nonetheless.
“It’s not any decision a board wants to make, and especially in a pandemic. Jerry was loved by our schools and our coaches. And that makes it even tougher,” said Stried.
“I don’t know all the ins and outs of it. There’s a lot of rumors going around, but I think everybody is very shocked or surprised right now. A lot of people are waiting for some answers as to the background, what actually happened,” says Patrick McLaughlin, the head football coach at LaSalle High School.
“His passion is really unquestionable. I believe he did an outstanding job. I’m shocked over what’s transpired. What I saw last night, have no information as to why,” said Frank Russo, the athletic director at Trotwood-Madison High School.
Board President Dan Leffingwell spoke to 92.3 the Fan in Cleveland, hoping to dispel some of the rumors.
“The speculation out there on social media and all the accusatory remarks towards myself and the board, understand that decisions like this don’t happen lightly and they certainly didn’t happen without a lot of thought and a process that brought us to this point,” he said.
Snodgrass held the executive director role since 2018, when Dan Ross retired after 14 years at the helm.
Overall, he spent 12 years with the OHSAA, following 31 years as an educator and coach.
He will be replaced an in interim basis by Bob Goldring, the current senior director of operations, and 25-year employee. A nationwide search is underway to identify a permanent replacement for Snodgrass.
Although Stried would not elaborate on the turning point with the board of directors, he did say there were no known issues between Snodgrass and Governor DeWine’s administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and high school athletics.
“There have been some things that have gone into this decision and right now we’re just trying to move forward with our interim executive director and start a national search,” said Stried.
Stried says he’s confident there will be a high school football season this year, but he stresses that Governor DeWine will make that decision— based on advice from medical professionals.
And he has this message for schools as they approach fall practice:
“Start working on your policy for when you get a positive case and that way no one’s taken by surprise. And your whole school and school district can move forward safely.”