Fordson’s DelGiudice honored as Region 11 Athletic Director of the Year

Fordson Athletic Director Jeff DelGiudice poses for a picture with is award and with Dearborn High Athletic Director Jeff Conway.

Long-time Fordson High School staff Jeff DelGiudice was honored on Sunday, March 19, 2023 as MIAAA Region 11 Athletic Director of the Year

DelGiudice was one of fourteen administrators statewide to be recognized at the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) event in Traverse City.

Mr. DelGiudice started coaching at Fordson in 1989 and, after two years as a substitute, started teaching history in 1995. He became varsity boys basketball coach in 1996 at the age of 26.  He continued coaching basketball and then tennis until becoming Fordson’s athletic director in 2008.  Last fall, he announced that he plans to retire at the end of this school year.

In his time as athletic director, Mr. DelGiudice has led a complete renovation of the Fordson gymnasium and athletic facilities and created the Athletic Hall of Fame as a part of the celebration for the 100 year anniversary of the school’s founding. Mr. DelGiudice has also been a longtime member of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) and the MIAAA, and has served on many Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) committees. He also brought Fordson to the Kensington Lakes Athletic Association (KLAA) and serves his conference as the leader of the most challenging sport, football.

According to MIAA, Mr. DelGiudice’s work has been long appreciated by his peers. Longtime Novi and Royal Oak Athletic Director Brian Gordon wrote, “Jeff has always been, and always will be viewed as a visionary leader across the State of Michigan. … Not only as a colleague, but also as a friend, I believe that Jeff DelGiudice is what is ‘Right’ in educational athletics.”

MIAAA also praised DelGiudice’s “ability, integrity and character” as shown in his ability to maintain positive relationships, even with rival schools.

Dearborn High School Athletic Director Jeff Conway wrote, “I have witnessed his ability to work collaboratively with others on helping provide the above and beyond opportunities for our student athletes that the KLAA prides itself on. … He is well respected by his peers, coaches, athletes, and the parents at Fordson High School and is continually striving to make the student-athlete experience a better one for those who pass through Fordson’s halls.”

Mr. DelGiudice has made a lifelong commitment to kids of the Dearborn community. He and his wife, Katie, are Dearborn residents and have two daughters, Jules and Cece. His service to his community includes raising more than $25,000 for the Karmanos Institute for Cancer Research through his assistance founding the Michael Guido Holiday Basketball Showcase and in his work with the Fordson Varsity Alumni Club to bring food and supplies to the community during pandemic relief efforts.

The MIAAA is a more than 50 year old association with nearly 700 members serving as athletic administrators in numerous high school and junior high/middle schools in Michigan. As partners with the MHSAA, the MIAAA works to promote the educational value of interscholastic athletics and the role and profession of athletic director. 

“The MIAAA is very proud to spotlight the work of Jeff DelGiudice, a man whose work and values best mirror those of the association,” the group said in announcing the award.

After receiving the award, Mr. DelGiudice said, “I am very honored by this award from the MIAAA. It is humbling to be honored by my colleagues, particularly the ultra-professional group of athletic directors in the KLAA. I share this award with the great coaches and friends that I have been so fortunate to work with over the years, and the student athletes it’s been my privilege to serve. Fordson has a very special place in my heart, and I will always love to be a Tractor.  Thanks to all of my administrators, and most importantly the colleagues and friends who helped shape my career, Mark Shooshanian, Chuck Silver, and Jeff Conway.“