Crowell named to TSSAA groundbreaking position

By Maurice Patton

Not everything that happens in the TSSAA Board of Control meetings, apparently, makes the minutes.

A Thursday announcement that Emily Crowell had been promoted to assistant executive director caught some off guard – but not the Harpeth Hall graduate.

“I’ve known about it since the (June 8-9) board meeting. It was not a surprise,” Crowell, 34, said regarding her appointment. “I’m obviously very excited. I feel like I’ve been working hard there for a number of years. I’m excited to learn some new things, but keep doing the things I’ve been doing.”

The Nashville native graduated from Vanderbilt in 2009.

“That was the worst year to enter the job market. I think everyone was unsure what way to go,” she recalled. “But I’d had a love of sports, so I got my master’s degree in Sports Administration at Belmont, and I met Bernard (Childress, TSSAA executive director) there. That was my first contact with him, and I was in graduate school when they hired me.”

After initially joining the TSSAA in 2010 as an administrative assistant, Crowell was later named director of championship events and placed in charge of middle school and high school tournaments. She will continue working with state championships – overseeing bid processes, contracts, event preparation and event management. Additionally, she will continue to supervise Unified Sports as well as eligibility concerns at the middle and high school levels.

“Emily has been such a hard worker since she joined the office over 10 years ago,” Childress said in announcing the promotion. “She has been dedicated to her duties and always willing to take on more and more responsibilities over the years.

“For that, and many other reasons, she is well deserving of the position of assistant executive director.”

Crowell becomes the fifth assistant executive director currently on staff – joining Matthew Gillespie, Richard McWhirter, Gene Menees and Mark Reeves – and the first woman to occupy that role in the association’s 96-year history.

“It’s kind of crazy in 2021 that I’d be the first woman for anything,” Crowell said. “But I’ve worked hard to get here, and if I can be that and make it more attainable for someone coming behind me, I’m honored to have that role.”

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