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High school athletic directors select first recipient of Stan Steidel Award; announce Hall of Fame inductees


By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Bob Rowe will be the first recipient of the Stan Steidel Award that was created by the Northern Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Association to recognize local school administrators and athletic directors for their contributions to sports.

As the principal at Covington Catholic High School, Rowe has directed a multi-million upgrade of the athletic complex. The project included acquiring land to build tennis courts on campus, upgrading the gymnasium, renovating the athletic stadium and adding permanent lights to the field.

Bob Rowe

In recent years, CovCath has also expanded its athletic department to include wrestling, archery and bass fishing.

The local athletic directors association has scheduled this year’s awards ceremony and Hall of Fame inductions on Nov. 12 at Receptions in Erlanger.

The award Rowe will receive is named in honor of Stan Steidel, a former president of the athletic directors association who passed away last November. Steidel received the Kentucky Athletic Director of the Year Award twice during his career.

Suzy Wera will receive the annual Tom Potter Distinguished Service Award at the ceremony. She coached girls golf and tennis at Beechwood and later became the high school’s athletic director.

Here are the seven men and five women selected for induction into the NKADA Hall of Fame on Nov. 12:

Wayne Badida (Conner) – Started the wrestling program at Conner and served as head coach for 45 years. He had one state championship team in 1983 and 19 individual state champions.

Amy Frisch-Benge (Notre Dame) – Played on Notre Dame girls tennis teams that won back-to-back state championships in 1997 and 1998. She was regional singles champion in 1997 and went on to play at the University of Nebraska.

Mike Code (Walton-Verona) – Entering his 17th year as Brossart boys basketball coach with 305 wins, one All “A” Classic state championship (2007) and 12 10th Region All “A” Classic titles during his career. He played on Walton-Verona basketball team that was 9th Region runner-up in 1986.

Justin Doellman

Justin Doellman (Ryle) – Led the Ryle boys basketball team to the 2002 9th Region championship and finished his career as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,503 points. He went on to play at Xavier University and then had an award-winning professional career in Europe.

Katie Madden-Haitz (Boone County) – Played on the 2004 9th Region girls basketball championship team at Boone County and later became an assistant coach for the Rebels. She became head coach at Ryle in 2015 and has led the Raiders to three consecutive 9th Region titles and the 2019 state championship.

Jeff McCarthy (Campbell County) – Earned varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball at Campbell County before being recruited Eastern Kentucky University’s football team. He received NCAA Division II All-America honors as a quarterback and then spent 31 years as a local high school football coach.

Heather Kruger-Parsons (Highlands) — Finished her girls basketball career at Highlands with more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds as a dominant pivot player. She played on teams that won back-to-back 9th Region championships in 1995 and 1996 and lost by two points in the 1997 region final.

Lauren O’Conner

Roger Reidinger (Newport) – Made school history by becoming the first Newport track athlete to win a state title in the discus in 1965, one year before track teams were split into classes. He coached track for 15 years while serving as a school administrator.

Lauren O’Conner (Scott) – Received all-state honors as a record-setting volleyball player for Scott. She went on to play for the University of Kentucky and earned all-conference honors as a four-year starter.

Kevin Robb (Boone County) – Compiled a 119-14-1 record during his wrestling career at Boone County and won a state title in the 138-pound class as a senior in 1982. He continued his career at the University of Kentucky.

Cliff Swauger (Bellevue) – Earned 11 varsity letters in four sports at Bellevue and played on the undefeated 1951 football team that won two bowl games. He went on to become a mathematics professor at the University of Kentucky.

Janine Thoney-Walz (Bellevue) – Won singles championships in the first five girls regional tennis tournaments played in Northern Kentucky from 1960-64. She also earned varsity letters playing on the boys tennis team and was named the school’s best athlete when she graduated.

To receive ticket information on the awards ceremony scheduled for Nov. 12, contact Mel Webster at mwebster@bishopbrossart.org or 859-609-6937


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One Comment

  1. Willie says:

    Wow! That Mike Code win total is ginormous!

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