2011 Annual MACA Conference

The annual conference of the Missouri Academic Coaches Association—also known as “The First-Ever Second Annual Brainstorm at the Lake”—took place on Sept. 25-26, 2011, at Osage Beach, Missouri. The free exchange of ideas, information and opinions scored a success with attendees from across the state (except for that one grouchy guy—you know the one I mean.)

The meeting opened with profound philosophical comments from MACA president Dr. Al Nicolai of Cape Girardeau Central High School, followed by a presentation on news, rules and guidelines from Stacy Schroeder, Associate Executive Director of the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

Morning breakout sessions included “What You Need to Know about Literature,” “How to Run a Successful Tournament,” and “Tips for New Coaches.” Other presentations had titles like “Pyramidal and NAQT Questions in Missouri Explained,” “What You Need to Know about Art and Artists,” “What You Need to Know about Science,” and “It’s Easier than It Looks: Using Statistics to Improve your Team and Motivate Players.” Forums also featured a free exchange of ideas and suggestions involving membership, fund-raising, and conference attendance. MACA officers extended special thanks to members Greg Irwin, Bill Luce, Freeman Fouts, Bob Brown and Charles Dees for volunteering and moderating breakout sessions.

The MACA business meeting in the afternoon showcased a spirited discussion concerning tournament formats, specifically for the annual junior varsity state tournament in the spring. Greg Irwin of Rock Bridge High School will host this year’s tournament.
Special awards were presented to Coaches of the Year for 2010-2011. The Class 1 winner was David Reiter from Mound City; in Class 2, Roger Stephens of Richland won the honors. Melissa Ross, head coach at Savannah, received the Coach of the Year award for Class 3. Class 4 had co-winners from Ladue Horton Watkins, Lisa Crawford and Mike Hill.

The Carol Farmer Founder’s Award for lifetime contributions to MACA and to quiz bowl competition in Missouri was Bart Mitchell from North County High School in Bonne Terre. In twenty-one years of coaching experience, Bart has served as MACA president and vice-president, officiated or coached at every MSHSAA state scholar bowl tournament, worked as a rules interpreter for three districts, and served on the MSHSAA Scholar Bowl Advisory Board. He has worked with tireless enthusiasm to promote and improve our activity. Bart’s wife, Helen Mitchell, was also a longtime coach and volunteer, so Scholar Bowl was ever a family affair at the Mitchell home. The officers and members of The Missouri Academic Coaches Association congratulate Bart Mitchell on the Carol Farmer Founders Award and thank him for his career contributions.

The fall business meeting also accomplished the election of new officers. Dr. Al Nicolai from Cape Girardeau was re-elected as president after serving out the unfilled term of the previous president, and Bob Brown from Richland was re-elected vice-president after serving out the unexpired term of the vice-president who took over the unfilled term of the previous president. In addition, Jason Loy from Tuscumbia High School was elected MACA secretary for a two-year term, and Nick White from West Nodaway High School agreed to serve as MACA treasurer.

The final important item of business was the consensus decision concerning next year’s annual conference, which will happen on September 23-24, 2012, in Columbia. The Missouri State High School Activities Association will tentatively “host,” providing conference and breakout rooms for the Monday sessions, thanks to the generous intercession of MSHSAA Associate Executive Director Stacy Schroeder. That means that planning for next year begins, and the window of opportunity opens for volunteers who have new ideas (or even old ones) for presenting breakout sessions. Contact any of the officers to submit your notions for next year’s conference.

President----------------Dr. Al Nicolai----------Cape Central High School ---------- nicolaia@capetigers.com

Vice-President----------Bob Brown------------Richland High School ---------------- questionbank@webound.com

Secretary----------------Jason Loy-------------Tuscumbia High School -------------- jloy@tuscumbialions.k12.mo.us

Treasurer----------------Nick White------------West Nodaway High School -------- nwhite@wnrockets.com