A need was identified to establish a state association after several athletic directors in the state joined the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) as charter members and five athletic directors from South Carolina attended a NIAAA conference in December 1986. South Carolina was one of only two states without a formal organization for state athletic directors.
An organizational meeting was held in July of 1987 and the group voted to proceed to form such a state association. Ray Wilson took the position of Chairman and a committee was appointed to develop a constitution. In the fall of 1987 a letter was mailed to all athletic directors, asking them to join the association and to give $10.00 to help defray expenses. Forty-nine people responded. In the fall of 1989, John Carlisle called for the first meeting of all state athletic directors at the USC Coliseum. In 1989, support was expressed by Pete Ayoub, Executive Director of the SC High School League. By 1991 a constitution was adopted and John Carlisle was elected the first president. In 1992, a voting seat on the SC High School League Executive Committee was approved.
Since 1993 SCAAA has coordinated the Spring Conference for Athletics. The conference provides information and professional development courses for athletic directors. It brings all four Classifications together to meet and conduct business for the upcoming school year. The High School League holds its Legislative Assembly at this conference; the SC Athletic Coaches Association and the SC Association of School Administrators also participate in the conference.
SCAAA awards its Directors Cup to the school with the most outstanding athletic program in each Classification. A free professional development course is offered to new AD’s and SCAAA sponsors a Mentoring Program for them. In addition, the NIAAA courses offered at the Spring Conference have recently been accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, a regional Accreditation group like the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. Our quarterly online newsletter is sent to all athletic directors, principals, superintendents and legislators in the state.