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New NIAA executive director ‘looking forward to diving right in’

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association has named Timothy Jackson its new executive director.

“I’m very excited and very humbled,” Jackson said. “ I’m looking forward to working with everyone. I know I got my work cut out for me, and I’m looking forward to diving right in there and getting to work.”

He will replace Donnie Nelson to become the sixth NIAA executive director. Nelson announced Dec. 1 that he will retire June 1. Jackson was selected at the spring Board of Control meetings Tuesday at Palace Station.

Jackson has spent the past five years serving as director of athletics for the Clark County School District. He previously applied for the executive director opening when Bart Thompson stepped down in 2021, and he said his “deeper love” of interscholastic athletics drove him to apply for the position again.

“This was the next step, progression, as I looked at what can I do next to help kids,” Jackson said. “I saw this position. I applied the last time, and they selected Donnie. I’ve grown professionally since that experience. I think that was a learning experience and a good experience to go through.”

The board chose Jackson over Ed Thompson, director of athletics for the Florida High School Athletic Association.

“You need to maintain that line of communication with the schools, who’s running the program on a daily basis, who’s working with the coaches and the parents directly,” Jackson said. “It’s seeing the officials face-to-face and not behind a screen or over a phone. Those things have been vital in my growth and development, and I look forward to putting them into place at the NIAA.”

Jackson previously served as a liaison for the Class 5A and 4A Southern schools on the NIAA Board of Control and Realignment Committee. He stepped down from the position last year, saying people who have their “boots on the ground” at schools should be in those positions.

In his role as CCSD director of athletics, Jackson said working with a wide range of schools, associations and boards is something he said will help him as he transitions into his new role.

“It just broadened my horizons and experiences,” Jackson said. “I really appreciate all the things I learned in this position.”

An Ohio native, Jackson is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. He started working for CCSD in 1994. After a brief stop back in Ohio, Jackson has been working in Southern Nevada for the past 18 years.

Jackson said his goal is to make sure perspectives from all over the state are heard on issues concerning high school sports in Nevada.

One of the first obstacles Jackson will have to help lead is realignment, as discussions for the next two-year realignment cycle begin later this year.

“We realign every two years and every two years we have those discussions, which is always good, but getting those discussions to the root of what we’re looking to do is always going to be one of the driving forces,” Jackson said. “I always want to make sure that we leave a situation better than we found it and that we solved the problems in the best manner for the kids.”

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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