Boston High School: Bill Gaine

Bill Gaine named MIAA Executive Director

June, 12, 2013
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has tapped former Deputy Executive Director Bill Gaine to replace Dick Neal as Executive Director, effective July 1.

Gaine had previously served as the MIAA's Deputy Executive Director from 1994 to June 2012.

The MIAA released the following statement on Gaine's appointment:

Franklin, MA June 12, 2013 - William N. Gaine, Jr., the former Deputy Executive Director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association (MSSAA), has been chosen as the Executive Director of the two organizations. The announcement was made by Ann Knell, President of the MSSAA and Brian McCann, President of the MIAA who chaired the search committee to select a new leader.

Mr. Gaine succeeds Richard F. Neal who has served as Executive Director for 34 years. The appointment is effective July 1.

Mr. Gaine was formerly the Deputy Executive Director, a position he held from 1994 until June, 2012 when he retired. Following his retirement he continued to serve the two Associations in a part-time position.

"We had many excellent candidates express an interest in the Executive Director's position" Ms. Knell and Mr. McCann said. "However, Bill Gaine with his 34 years of experience was uniquely qualified. He will enable the two organizations to transition to a new leader without missing a beat. We are fortunate he decided to come back to full-time employment and accept this position."

Mr. Gaine joined the Associations as Assistant Executive Director in October, 1979 and has had major responsibility in the areas of student eligibility, as well as student/athlete health and safety initiatives over the years. He also had executive responsibility for all phases of management for most Association-sponsored sports.

The Presidents further stated that, "Bill Gaine has been an incredible leader of MIAA and MSSAA for almost their entire histories. There are few people indeed who could have had as much impact on more young people and their education than Bill has had in his more than three decades of leadership and service. He has positively impacted students, schools, and their leaders throughout the State and the Nation. Bill Gaine has earned a national reputation for vision, leadership, and determination to get the most and best out of every situation and person".

Mr. Gaine has been the architect and catalyst for the development and growth of the MIAA's Student Services Program which includes Sportsmanship, Wellness, Leadership, Community Service and Coaches' Education. The MIAA and Mr. Gaine have been recognized statewide and nationally for creating programming focused on student athletes that enrich their interscholastic experience through a curriculum of educational athletics.

Among the initiatives Mr. Gaine established to advance these programs are relationships and partnerships with the Anti-Defamation League, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Governor's Alliance Against Drugs, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Partnership for a Drug-free America, and the Center of Sport at Northeastern University. Mr. Gaine founded the MIAA's Partners in Prevention, a network of over 65 prevention agencies in Massachusetts to assist schools with prevention and healthy lifestyle resources for students.

As Deputy Executive Director of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association (MSSAA), the professional association of approximately 1,200 principals and assistant principals throughout Massachusetts, Bill has contributed to the remarkable growth of that organization since the 1970s.

A resident of Ashland, Mr. Gaine has served on the South Middlesex Regional Vocational Technical School committee for two decades. In addition, his community service at the local level has included several committee initiatives at Ashland High School, as well as years of service at coaching and administration for Ashland softball and baseball.

MIAA football proposal to move to general assembly

June, 7, 2012
The MIAA's Board of Directors voted 11-2 in favor this morning of bringing the proposal for a playoff system that would award six true state champions in football to a special meeting this fall, where a general assembly will vote whether or not to approve and implicate the plan for the 2013 football season.

A previous proposal brought forth in 2010 by then-Plymouth North athletic director Bill Burkhead was rejected 192-114 by a general assembly, but this current proposal appears to have more support. The finance committee gave its support in April. Last month, the MIAA Football Committee approved amendments to the proposal, 15-2; a day later, the MIAA Tournament Management Committee voted 10-4 in favor of it, bringing the plan to its current place before the Board of Directors.

Outgoing Ipswich High principal Barry Cahill led the presentation before the Board of Directors, urging the members to focus on the first few pages of the 29-page proposal. Among the positives highlighted were that it eliminates the safety concern brought by playing three games in 10 days; it is less intrusive on the next season of sports, with 12 teams playing after Thanksgiving as opposed to the current crop of 74; the increase of participation in playoffs; revenue-sharing after Week 7; and travel limited to within the section area, with all 12 teams left playing at Gillette Stadium the first weekend of December.

Concord-Carlisle athletic director Barry Haley brought up the motion to table this to the fall, asking if the board had the authority to dictate this to the 365 member schools, to which Catholic Memorial Athletic Director Alex Campea countered that they do have the right, given the amount of approval votings by the various sub-committees.

"The majority of people on those committees are in favor of this," Campea said. "We talk about scheduling, and when we enter a tournament situation, none of us can dictate the schedule. You get a bracketed seed and play whoever the tournament indicates you play. That's the cost of every tournament -- you're stuck having to travel, it's never convenient based upon where you are in the tournament bracket.

"The bottom line is, all of the issues brought up have been diligently addressed from day one, and it would be a disservice to all prior committees if we don't move to vote on this."

Alluding to the potential changes coming in the state's lacrosse and baseball tournaments, Algonquin Athletic Director Fran Whitten added to Campea's point: "Are those going to go to a general assembly? It just seems odd to me at this point in time, with this many factors in place, that we're going to send this back to a general membership."

Others felt differently. Athol High Athletic Director David King noted that while the Western Mass. brethren voted 45-3 in favor of the proposal, they recommended to him they would like this plan to move to a assembly.

Outgoing MIAA Executive Director Bill Gaine raised some eyebrows when asked, "Let's not be precipitous."

Asked by a group of reporters following to meeting to explain his comment, Gaine elaborated: "“The football committee and the tournament management committee, last time, were not involved in the process. It was a special ad hoc committee, appointed by the board of directors...That reported back to the board of directors what their finding was."

"The finding was by an independent ad hoc committee that said, ‘No, we’ll take it and send it to the committee at your recommendation.’ This time it emanated through the process, just as defined by the government structure, to go to the football committee and anything that’s voted favorably out of the football committee, in terms of a tournament change, that would go to the TMC [tournament management committee]."

Cahill said he was not surprised at the decision to bring this to an assembly.

"Particularly where it went to the full membership last time, I certainly realized that they've had a lot of input coming into this vote, and so we did anticipate that this probably would go to the membership," Cahill said. "At least I think it was wise for them to do a fall meeting and not a spring meeting. I think it would have been hard to put this in place if they had waited until April, planning for September the following year. At least that's a wise move on their part."

Is there still time?

"I think it will just expedite whatever appeals there," he said. "I don't imagine anything in the plan will change between now and when the assembly sees it."

Several other items were brought forth on the agenda. The Board of Directors voted to reject applying two rules modifications the NCAA will be implementing for the upcoming football season. This fall, the kickoff line is moving to to 35-yard line, and the ball will be placed at the 25 yard line instead of 20 following a touchback.

The MIAA board also voted 9-5 in favor of aligning with the Department of Public Health's recommendations on physical examinations, and voted against allowing a one-game exception to finalists in the newly-established Worcester City Championship during basketball season. Holy Name defeated St. Peter-Marian in the inaugural eight-team tournament last February.

MIAA football tourney plan clears another hurdle

May, 10, 2012
FRANKLIN, Mass. -- The possibility of a statewide football championship in Massachusetts took another leap forward this morning.

In what was the second consecutive day of meetings for the MIAA Football Committee and the MIAA Tournament Management Committee on a proposed statewide tournament, voters once again favored the proposition with a 10-4 vote at the MIIA headquarters in Franklin. Combined with a 15-2 sanction by the football committee yesterday, the plan -- which cuts 19 regional winners down to six divisional state champs -- will move to the the board of directors for review in June.

“Every kid or coach who puts the work in wants the chance to get in and you have that opportunity by having a successful pre-qualification period,” said Swampscott football coach Steve Dembowski. “Obviously today's approval plus the endorsing of the finance committee are a big plus. (The board of directors) can decide that they don't like it or they can decide they do like it and want to implement it.”

Concerns were aired about the proposal during the meeting, but no official changes were made . Tantasqua principal Michael Lucas, Dracut athletic director Tim Woods, Malden principal Dana Brown, and Belmont athletic director James Davis all voted against the plan.

Opposition noted problems with the value of the Thanksgiving rivalry, the system assigning divisions and schedules, revenue sharing, the shortening of in-conference games, and the philosophical change of playing regular season matchups during the postseason.

“[Leagues] do not like that they will not know their last three opponents of the year and are sketchy about traveling to East Oshkosh to play teams they have never played before,” said Woods. “Had the football committee spent more time with individual athletic directors they may have overcome some of those fears. If you are going to have a league championship you are going to do it without playing all the teams in your league.”

The intended method would maintain Thanksgiving rivalries, while allowing leagues to schedule their first seven games. A scheduling committee would fill the remaining games for non-qualifying teams based of competitiveness.

Each squad nets revenue from five-and-a-half games, an equal average to the current 11 game regular season. Playoffs run from weeks eight to 13, excluding 11 and 12, with the top two teams in each division facing off at Gillette Stadium in the final week.

The same number of teams will play in the arena as did the previous season.

“If a team knows they are going to be playing in Gillette Stadium the week after, then why are they going to risk their varsity players on the field,” Woods said. “It becomes scrimmage.”

“We have been in the [playoffs] ten times and, even when we played the Super Bowl, it was not the same as the Thanksgiving game against Leominster.” argued Ray Cosenza, Fitchburg athletic director and former football coach.

Similar to other state tournaments, regions will be split into North, South, Central and West, with the later two not competing in Divisions 1 or 3. Leagues larger than five teams will be granted an additional playoff spot, along with available wild cards for all schools based off a regional power ranking system.

“By dissolving Division Three you are going to have schools half the size of other schools playing each other in the playoffs,” Brown said. “They split the third division by moving teams up or down a division and bumped down schools in the first division. Now, you have Division Three teams playing top division schools.”

The four-year plan, which would initiate next season, can be reviewed in two years with the availability of change.

“Two things we are going to keep an eye on are the scheduling committee to make sure they are serving their division and the power rating,” said retiring MIAA deputy director Bill Gaine. “We have already had it tested in the west for a dozen years, but not in the east. We think it is going to work, but we have to make sure it does.”

MIAA denies Medway/Ashland hockey appeal

March, 2, 2012
The MIAA announced this morning that it has denied an appeal filed by Medway High School Principal Richard Pearson after the Medway/Ashland girls' hockey co-op team lost 3-1 to Winthrop, in a Division 1 Preliminary Round game at Larsen Rink on Wednesday night.

During the game, a man was removed from the building for trying to distract the Medway goalie with a laser pointer, and has since been barred from all future Winthrop athletic events. The score was tied 1-1 at the time of the man's removal, and Winthrop went on to win 3-1.

In letter to Pearson from MIAA Deputy Director Bill Gaine, which was forwarded to members of the Boston area media, the appeal denial is explained:

Please be advised the MIAA is in receipt of your letter of appeal of the final results of the Medway vs. Winthrop Girls’ Ice Hockey game played February 29, 2012. While your advocacy for the Girls’ Ice Hockey team is appreciated and the extenuating circumstances you cite respected, Association members schools are obliged to honor the standards of the National Sport Code adopted by the membership. MIAA Girls’ Ice Hockey is governed by National Federation Ice Hockey Rules.

Section 3, Article a. of the National Federation Ice Hockey Rules reads, in part related to your appeal: “The referees shall have jurisdiction over the game upon entry on the ice prior to the game until the ice is cleared of contestants after the game. The referees shall enforce all rules and shall rule on situations not specifically covered by rule. In case of any dispute, the decision of the referees shall be final and there shall be no appeal.

Accordingly, the MIAA affirms that the decision of the referees shall be final.

For your information the MIAA Assembly, acting on a recommendation of an Ad Hoc Committee appointed by Board of Directors, voted that all interscholastic athletic contest controversies would be resolved by the process identified by the rules of the relevant National Sport Code (cited above).

In closing, please know that the MIAA Ice Hockey Committee will consider this incident while reviewing standards to insure optimal tournament experiences for all.

MIAA gets national recognition from

March, 30, 2011
Courtesy of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association:

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has been selected the recipient of the 2010 Alliance Achievement Award of The Partnership at The Association is being recognized for its comprehensive, proactive and innovative approach to supporting drug and alcohol abuse prevention within its member schools and communities.

As part of the Wellness Component of its Student Services activities, the MIAA provides a multitude of resources to assist students in making healthy decision that lead to healthy lifestyles. In the area of chemical health the MIAA conducts workshops with student athletes, school administrators, health administrators, coaches and others. The Association also provides video and print resources to support in school activities.

In recognizing the MIAA, CEO, Stephen PJ. Pasierb, said: “thanks to your kindness and commitment, we are able to connect people in urgent need of resources …we are extremely grateful to you for helping us evolve into much more than an advertising campaign.”

William N. Gaine Jr., Deputy Director of the MIAA, said: “We are very pleased to have our efforts in supporting chemical health programs in our member schools by a nationally recognized organization like The Partnership”. This award is a tribute to our School Wellness Coordinators and Partners in Prevention (PIP) who have made a significant contribution to the MIAA Wellness Program for the past 25 years.


Bill Gaine