Roanoke and Randolph County already had a strong connection to the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), and now that connection will extend to the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) as well.
The AHSAA Central Board of Control met last Wednesday at the AHSAA office for its Winter meeting. At the meeting, the Board welcomed new board member and former Superintendent of Roanoke City Schools Chuck Marcum.
Marcum replaces Terry Roller as the board member representing the Alabama State Department of Education. Marcum serves as the ALSDE Chief of Staff to state superintendent Eric Mackey.
The ALSDE has a permanent seat on the AHSAA board, and it is at Mackey’s discretion to assign the person to fill that seat.
“I’ve known Dr. Mackey for over 20 years dating back to when he was superintendent at Jacksonville and I was at Roanoke, and he knows how much I value high school athletics,” Marcum said. “So he just thought I’d be a natural fit for that.”
Marcum’s career in education included a stint as a coach at Handley High School in the 1990s, but the value he places on high school athletics goes back even further than that.
“High school athletics is the reason I am where I am today, because of a high school football coach,” he said.
Marcum said that as he was growing up there was not a big emphasis from his parents on getting a college education.
“But my high school coach took a special interest in me at a young age, and because of him that’s what gave me the idea of going to college,” Marcum said. “If I hadn’t gone to college I wouldn’t be here.”
The AHSAA’s central board of control is the governing body for high school athletics in the state of Alabama. Any rule change that goes into effect must first be approved by the board. That body works in conjunction with the AHSAA’s Legislative Council, which is made up of administrators and coaches from schools throughout the state. The Legislative Council proposes the vast majority of the Association’s rules changes and submits them to the board of control for approval. Marcum will also have a seat on the legislative council as the ALSDE’s representative there.
“That’s the role of the board, to take the rules and make application of the rules that have been passed by the members,” Marcum said.
What rules will be passed during Marcum’s tenure on the board are anybody’s guess. And Marcum is taking a wait-and-see approach before he goes in and champions any opinions or issues.
“ I need to listen and learn,” he said. “It’s kind of like when you come to the state department from the local level. You’ve got all the answers, and then you get down here and you see that there’s some other questions that you haven’t thought about. So it would be the same thing on this. I’ve got to sit back and learn and listen and just try to add influence to it.”