EDITOR’S NOTE: Wichita native Bill Faflick takes over this week as executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, replacing Gary Musselman, who has retired after 30 years at the KSHSAA, including 22 as the executive director. Topeka Capital-Journal high school writer Rick Peterson sat down with Faflick recently for an interview to discuss his new position, key issues facing the KSHSAA in 2018-19 and beyond, and the type of director he wants to be. This is the first of a three-part series spotlighting those subjects.

 

Bill Faflick has dealt with the Kansas State High School Activities Association for more than three decades as a teacher, coach and administrator.

But Faflick said spending the 2017-18 school year as a member of the staff was invaluable experience as he embarks on his new job as the seventh executive director in KSHSAA history.

“It’s been a fabulous opportunity to roll up your sleeves and see the behind-the-scene things that make our events and our seasons and our schools have the ability to function at a high, high level," Faflick said. “The amount of support that this staff provides for championship events is staggering.

“The systems that are in place so that everything goes smoothly is what you’d expect, a finely tuned machine. And things happen because people know their jobs and they do them very, very, very well."

Faflick had previously worked with the KSHSAA in a variety of roles. Before moving to the KSHSAA, he served as the assistant superintendent of secondary schools for USD 259 in Wichita. Faflick also spent 12 years as the USD 259 director of athletics after serving as Wichita Southeast's athletic director and the Buffaloes' track and cross country coach.

Faflick said being on staff has given him a different perspective on all that goes on at the KSHSAA, which governs all high school activities in Kansas.

“You don’t see all of that (from the outside)," he said. “When you see the amount of work that goes into getting a tournament ready to go and the staff all pitching in and doing the things they need to do, that’s impressive, how everybody rallies around together to get state track ready or state basketball or state volleyball or state cross country, whatever it is. They’re all important.

“I think one of the things that’s really nice about the Activities Association is the most important event that we’ve got is the one that’s today or the one that involves your kid, because that’s what that parent cares about, that’s what that coach cares about, that’s what that student-athlete cares about. That’s not lost here, and I think that’s really important."

While prepping to take over as executive director, Faflick said the past year allowed him to get more acquainted with the KSHSAA staff, while also studying how Gary Musselman, who recently spoke with The Telegram for a series of stories, and the staff went about carrying out their daily duties.

“I didn’t know the staff very well, but the commitment that they have to get the job done, and not just done but done well, like it’s for your own kids, is very, very refreshing," he said. “The systems that Gary has in place, the board has in place, that have been established and that work let things be successful, and that’s been really good to see.

“It’s been a tremendous advantage to be behind the scenes and see what takes place in building the agendas on the administrative side and seeing the operation really go."

Faflick said the past school year has also driven home the point that the KSHSAA is not just about sports, but that the other activities offered by the organization are equally as important.

“Our debate, our student council, our fine arts programs are phenomenal," he said. "That’s a lot of what I’ve learned this year is how diverse our programs are. What we do with KAY (Kansas Association for Youth), what we do in student council is absolutely phenomenal.

"Those are important things that this association does that you don’t really hear a lot about, but they support the mission, they support our schools, they support Kansas kids."

Next up: Key issues facing the KSHSAA for 2018-2019 and the future.