Retiring MHSAA assistant director Gina Mazzolini has served Michigan high school student-athletes for more than 30 years in ways that will continue to impact schools and athletes for years to come. In recognition of her efforts, she has been named the 2016 recipient of the Michigan High School Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award.
Mazzolini has served the MHSAA since 1993 and is the administrator for girls volleyball, swimming and diving, alpine skiing and tennis. She also handles the sanctioning of out-of-state competitions and serves as the MHSAA’s point person on foreign exchange and international student issues. Mazzolini received a Citation from the National Federation of State High School Associations this past summer and was the 2010 recipient of the MHSAA’s Women in Sports Leadership Award.
“Gina Mazzolini has contributed to Michigan high school athletics on a variety of levels providing vision, leadership and dedication,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “Gina Mazzolini has shaped rules and policies that have impacted programs not only in our state, but nationally as well.”
After standout basketball and volleyball careers at St. Johns High School and Central Michigan University, Mazzolini taught and coached multiple sports during the 1979-80 school year at Ovid-Elsie High School. She then spent two years teaching and serving as an assistant volleyball coach at Michigan State University, where she also earned her master’s degree in physical education.
“It’s one of those things where I’ve worked in this position because I loved doing it,” Mazzolini said. “I enjoyed working with the adult coaches and adult officials, and then the student-athletes. I’m appreciative and humbled. You do those things because you enjoy them.”
In addition to her work at the MHSAA, Mazzolini has provided a long list of contributions at the national level. She has served as the NFHS representative on the board for the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel, which identifies, promotes and supports international youth exchange programs, and has sat on several CSIET committees. She’s currently serving on the NFHS Annual Meeting Planning Committee and also has served on NFHS rules committees for soccer, swimming and diving, and volleyball (chairing that sport’s rules committee from 2004-08), and on NFHS advisory committees for athletic directors and sports medicine.
She recently was inducted into the Michigan High School Ski Coaches Association Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the inaugural St. John's High School Hall of Fame and was inducted into the CMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.
Past Distinguished Service Honorees