Being on the move has long been a way of life for Jerry Snodgrass.

For more than six years after he took on a more extensive role with the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the longtime Findlay resident commuted more than 90 minutes almost daily to work in Columbus.

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He's looking forward to using that energy in a new form now that he has taken on his new role as executive director of the OHSAA.

Snodgrass, who was hired as an assistant commissioner in August 2008, was announced as the successor May 4 for the retiring Dan Ross and took over July 9.

"I still maintain my home in Findlay but have an apartment here in Columbus," said Snodgrass, who will celebrate his 38th anniversary with his wife, Barb, later this month. "Yes, that's challenging at times. My grass is high at times, but I do work for the state of Ohio. I love Columbus and it has actually been pretty healthy.

"Most administrators or supervisors are great multitaskers, and I've always been a great multitasker. If I have 10 minutes of free time, I'm going to find something to fill that free time with. I've just always had that. I've always wanted to do more. I've always wanted to make a difference."

A 1973 Upper Sandusky graduate, Snodgrass got his start in teaching in 1977 at Defiance and coached baseball, basketball and football before serving as the boys basketball coach at Morral Ridgedale from 1980-82.

Snodgrass also was the boys basketball coach at Findlay from 1991-99 and spent 25 years overall at the school, including 16 as athletics director.

He was elected to a two-year term on the OHSAA board of directors from 2005-07 and served as board president in 2006-07.

"Jerry's done a great job and will do a great job," Ross said. "He's very knowledgeable and has a tremendous background as a coach and administrator. The board saw a very, very good person in Jerry and Jerry will do an absolute bang-up good job."

Since becoming an assistant commissioner nearly 10 years ago, Snodgrass has been the chief administrator for several sports, including in 2017-18 when he oversaw boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball and golf.

He also previously was the administrator for field hockey, boys and girls lacrosse and girls volleyball and has worked as the OHSAA's main liaison with athletic administrators throughout Ohio.

However, becoming just the 10th commissioner in the 111-year history of the OHSAA isn't something that was on his radar until recently.

"Did I someday dream that would be an opportunity? Yes, because I love the administrative side of things," Snodgrass said. "Did I imagine it would happen? Not really, because what are the odds it could work out?"

Veteran Reynoldsburg girls basketball coach Jack Purtell, who calls Snodgrass "an amazing administrator," and Gahanna girls soccer coach Bob McGee believe Snodgrass was a good choice to serve as commissioner.

"I'm excited to see Jerry Snodgrass take the helm," said McGee, who has more than 300 career wins after previously coaching at DeSales and Upper Arlington. "He's genuine and exhorts what high school sports are about. He brings excitement to the sports, and if you have ever heard him at an awards ceremony, you know he has done his homework. His words ring true for both winners and non-winners and inspire schools, athletes and coaches. I'm hoping he can move the OHSAA from a far-distant perch to a neighborhood community resource."

Named the OHSAA's Naismith Meritorious Service Award winner in 2010, Snodgrass oversaw the OHSAA's Battle for the Golden Megaphone. The contest, which was started during the 2014-15 school year, promotes sportsmanship within student sections during basketball games.

Schools can participate by taking a picture or short video of their student section at a boys or girls basketball game and post it to Twitter or Instagram, with the winner to receive a banner and an award for its athletics department.

Snodgrass was named the 2018 recipient of the OHSAA Ethics and Integrity Award.

"I'm so passionate because we're in a position to make a difference," he said. "So often when I speak to kids, and I do speak to a lot of kids primarily through the Golden Megaphone program, I tell them: 'Do something.' When we started the Golden Megaphone, we assessed the risks and said, 'What if it doesn't work? What are we out?' ... We're doing something. If it fails, the risks are minimal."

One thing Snodgrass plans to do with his new position is "step back and revisit (the OHSAA's) mission statement" to better serve schools.

"We have so much going on right now, so much, I do want to refocus a little bit," he said. "Our mission statement says that we are to provide participation opportunities through school-based athletics, but in our mission statement, too, it says that we're to assist and help school administrators and coaches in that process. We have so much turnover in administrators and we have even more turnover in coaches. ... We have to look at how we're providing that assistance."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek