Bloomington High School
John Szabo has been a member of the Illinois Athletic Directors Association for 22 years, beginning in 1993. In that time frame, John had served the IADA in numerous positions. For 13 years, John had been a part of organizing and facilitating the IADA Summer Retreat, and he also served the State Conference Prize Committee. John had served on the executive board as an At-large Division Liaison, the Division 5 Liaison, the NIAAA Liaison for 8 years, and John is an IADA past president.
In his 22 years in athletic administration, John has served his school, his community, his conference, the IADA, the IHSA, and the NIAAA. In addition to being the athletic administrator at Bloomington High School, John has been the Cross Country and Track & Field coach since the 1982-83 school year. In Bloomington, John was awarded the John Stevens Memorial Award from the Bloomington Rotary Club, an organization he has served for 25 years. Also, the State Farm Bloomington Normal Sports Commission named John their Male Coach of the Year in 2015, and Bloomington School District 87 inducted John into their Hall of Fame in 2015. The Illinois Track & Cross Country Coaches Association named John as their South Coach of the Year in 1993, 1994, and 1996, and he was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2005. Also, the NFHS named John as the Illinois Track & field Coach of the Year in 2006. John was named the IADA Class 3A/4A Athletic Director of the Year in 2010, he was awarded the NIAAA Award of Merit in 2009, and the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award for Illinois in 2008. He served the IHSA by serving on Athletic Administrators Advisory Committee and the Cross Country / Track Advisory Committee. John also was part of the IHSA State Track Meet Jury of Appeals and Awards Marshall for 17 years.
Stan Lewis, Athletic Director at Normal Community West High School, said, “He supported each coach and created an environment where they could do their best work for the student-athletes. John was and still is a servant leader. No job too big or small for him to do when it came to supporting the athletes and coaches at Bloomington High School.”
Retired Superintendent for Bloomington School District 87, Robert Nielsen, states that, “His leadership enabled Bloomington High School to earn a reputation for fierce competition at all levels tempered with sportsmanship and integrity. Mr. Szabo earned the trust and commitment of the Bloomington Public School District 87 community. He conducted himself with class and dignity in all situations and with all audiences.”
John’s extensive contributions to high school athletics and his dedication to the IADA are a few of the many reasons that led John to this selection as a member of the Illinois Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame.