Bob Huelsman
Bob Huelsman

Bob Huelsman is a former high school teacher, coach and administrator, serving for more than three decades at Covington High School, in Miami County. In his 13 years as head basketball coach at Covington, Huelsman won 228 games and five times guided the Buccaneers to the regional round of the state tournament. Currently, he serves as the associate athletic director at Newton High School, and treasurer for the Southwest District Athletic Board. A former member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Control, Huelsman’s broad background in athletic administration has won the respect of his peers statewide.


Change is good, and change is inevitable, as reflected by some faces and some new policies adopted by the Southwest District Board for 2011-12.

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Over the summer, the winds of change blew through the Southwest District Athletic Board, as the nine member board lost four colleagues to retirement and/or changing schools.

Three former Board members retired (Gene Klaus, Jim Ladd, and Kathy Davisson), while Scott Kaufman left Princeton High School (AAA) for Wyoming High School (AA), which precludes him from retaining his position with the Board.

Tim Cook, Assistant Principal and Athletic Administrator, Western Brown High School, was elected to replace Gene Klaus.

Jim Sherard, Athletic Administrator, Cincinnati Western Hills High School, was appointed to fill Scott Kaufman’s position.

The female position on the Board went to Joy Barnett, Assistant Athletic Director, Kettering Fairmont High School, as she was appointed to replace Kathy Davisson.

Jonas Smith, Athletic Director for the Dayton City Schools, was appointed to fill the ethnic minority position that was held by Jim Ladd.

As Jawaharlal Nehru said, “The wheel of change moves on, and those who were down go up and those who were up go down.”

This school year (2011-12) marks the start of a two-year cycle of classification of schools into divisions, determining their placement within all the tournaments throughout the state.  As an example, Covington moves from Division VI in football to Division V, and St. Henry moves from Division V to Division VI.

There are changes that have occurred within the tournament structure that the ordinary fan, spectator, parent, and even players might not realize.  When coaches attend meetings toward the end of the season to seed teams (establishing order of placement on the brackets) in the tournament, they will not be able to vote for their own team, as they have in the past.

The SWDAB decided to institute this change this year in order to give a truer picture of strength within the schools.  They also decided that the highest and lowest vote will be dropped in the calculation of seeding.  Again, this was done to give the coaches a better understanding of the strengths of the teams, and to eliminate a coach from skewing the tally.

The schools in Ohio were mandated by the OHSAA to have a meeting with all athletes and parents before the beginning of each sport season.  This came about by a referendum vote of all schools last spring.  Actually many schools were already conducting meetings like this, but now the meeting has been made mandatory.

Just recently, the SWDAB sent out $500 bonus checks to all 178 schools participating in our tournaments. This amounts to $89,000.  Last year there was no bonus money available to be shared.  Quite a change right there!

Every two years the SWDAB honors officials from the southwest district who have served the OHSAA for more than 30 years.  The SWDAB also honors our tournament managers who give their time and energy to serve our young people.  The SWDAB, along with these managers, run the best tournaments in the state.  These officials and managers were honored on Sunday, August 28th.

Like Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”  But then again, if nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies!