EDITOR’S NOTE: New Kansas State High School Activities Association executive director Bill Faflick recently sat down with Topeka Capital-Journal high school writer Rick Peterson to discuss his position and issues dealing with high school activities. This is the final installment in a three-part series. Read the first and second part here and here.
Don’t expect any abrupt or major changes as Bill Faflick starts his tenure as the seventh executive director in the history of the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
Faflick, who has spent more than three decades in education, said he sees himself as more of a caretaker for what is already an outstanding organization. But he also knows that he and the KSHSAA staff need to continue to grow moving forward.
“The position I walked into is tremendously healthy and you’re pointed in the right direction,’’ Faflick said. “Does it mean you’re perfect? No. Does it mean some fresh perspective won’t be helpful? Absolutely not. Those things are going to be good and will only make the association stronger and will make it better.
“It will connect us more to the schools. It will connect us in a different way to our stake holders and I think that’s really, really important. (The KSHSAA) is not broken. It’s the exact opposite of that. Now you just don’t want to mess it up.’’
Faflick is taking over for Gary Musselman, who served as executive director the past 22 years, and said it is important that the KSHSAA continues to adapt to continuously changing times.
“If you’re satisfied with where you are, in life or as a coach or as administrator, I think you’ve lost that winning mentality that keeps it fresh and keeps it real,’’ he said. “Our schools are changing, our students have changed, but the core is the same. It’s about competition, it’s about connecting to kids.’’
Faflick, who starts his new position this week, promises to be accessible and visible as executive director.
“It’s always been a hallmark of mine to be present,’’ Faflick said. “I want to be out there, just as my predecessors have been. I want to show up at a lot of events. It’s about relationships. That’s something Gary is so good at. He’s great at relationships, one of the many things he’s really great at.’’
Being out and about won’t be a stretch for the Wichita native, who has been an athlete, coach, high school and district athletic director.
”My kids grew up on the athletic fields of Wichita Public Schools,'' Faflick said. "They always went to events and my entire family has probably been to more track meets and cross country meets than most coaches have been. The last six years (in Wichita) I was the assistant superintendent in the district but I still went to games every Friday, every Tuesday because that’s important.
“One of my favorite coaches always said, 'Be where you are. Take advantage of where you are and engage.’ We teach that — show up and engage and produce. Show up every day, engage in the work, engage with the people around you and produce at the highest level possible.’’