Ray Ebersole, athletic administrator at Hudson High School in Hudson, is one of nine individuals singled out nationally by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association to receive the 2015 Distinguished Service Award Dec. 15 in Orlando during the banquet at the 46th annual National Athletic Directors Conference conducted jointly by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the NIAAA.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals from within the NIAAA membership in recognition of their length of service, special accomplishments and contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels.
Nominations are submitted by state athletic directors associations, screened by the NIAAA Awards Committee and selected by the NIAAA Board of Directors.
Ebersole is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University (Berea) with a Master's Degree in Sports Administration from The Ohio State University.
Upon graduation, he spent five years at the professional sports level, serving as Director of Community relations for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Following his tenure with the Cavs, he moved to public administration with the City of Cleveland Parks and Recreation Department.
While with Cleveland Parks and Recreation, he served as program liaison to the Cleveland Public Schools Athletic Department and also was appointed Commissioner of the Erie Shore Conference.
In August of 1991, he became athletic coordinator for the Lakewood City Schools.
Since that time, Ebersole has served as an athletic administrator in Lakewood, Fairview Park, Lorain and Hudson City Schools. He has remained at Hudson since 2004.
Throughout his interscholastic career, he has been very active at the local, state and national levels. He has managed numerous Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional, district, and regional tournaments in boys basketball, field hockey, football, boys and girls soccer, volleyball and baseball.
Additionally, he has presented a wide variety of workshops and Leadership Training Institute courses at the local and state level. He most recently served on the OHSAA Division I Evaluation Committee.
In 2003, Ebersole served on the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Professional Development Committee and has served as State Chair for LTI 620, "Coaching for Character". He has been a member of the Northeast Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Executive Committee and is a past president of the Lorain County Athletic Administrators Association.
On the national level, Ebersole served as the National Chair of the NIAAA Sports Turf Education Committee from 2000-2007. He assisted in the content development for LTI 615 and 619 and is a member of the National Faculty for both courses.
He also was the National Course Chair for LTI 619. In 2004, he was named to serve on the prestigious NIAAA Strategic Planning Committee, which established the objectives and direction of the national organization from 2005-2010.
Locally, he has been instrumental in fund-raising campaigns to enhance the physical facilities for his school districts and student athletes.
During his interscholastic athletic administration career at Hudson, he has assisted in raising funds and completing athletic-related projects totaling more than $9.1 million in value.
Ebersole was the recipient of the NIAAA and OIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and he received a special commendation in 2005 for his work with the NIAAA Strategic Planning Committee.
He received the State Award of Merit from the NEOIAAA IN 2007, the NEOIAAA Citation in 2012, and the NEOIAAA Meritorious Service Award in 2014. He is also the NEOIAAA and OIAAA "Athletic Director of the Year" for 2015.
Ebersole has been married for 35 years to his wife, Pam. They are the parents of Drew, 24.
This is the third consecutive year an OIAAA member has received the DSA recognition at the National Conference.