Dave Stead, the longest-serving executive director in the history of the 102-year Minnesota State High School League, will officially end his tenure April 2.
Stead confirmed his resignation date at the league’s board of directors meeting Thursday in Brooklyn Center. The initial plan called for Stead, 74, to resign about Feb. 1 and assume a senior administrative role indefinitely.
New executive director Erich Martens begins March 1, giving him and Stead a month of overlap to transition duties.
Stead said he remains available for information, insight and advice, though in an unofficial capacity.
“I didn’t want to be the person looking over someone’s shoulder,” said Stead, league executive director since 1988. “My colleague in Kansas had his replacement there for a year.
“I know Erich knows enough about the league because he’s been on the board, he’s been the board president and he was an athlete, a coach and a principal. The foundation is there.”
Board members and league staff presented Stead with a watch and gave him a standing ovation.
“I’ve never considered it, ‘Look at me and all the wonderful things I’ve done,’ ” Stead said.
“It’s not about me, it’s about our staff in this office.”
Martens, a 1984 New Ulm High School graduate when Stead served as school principal, said, “My hat’s off to Dave Stead. Dave has been an amazing influence and leader for the state high school league.”
Martens’ initial three-year executive director contract pays him $169,000 with 2.5 percent pay increases each August.
He will make $181,994.53 in the third year of his contract.
Martens is eligible to receive one performance-based bonus per fiscal year not to exceed 8 percent of his salary.
In other meeting action, the league:
• Approved a change to golf policies, saddling cellphone users on the course with a two-stroke penalty for a first violation and a disqualification for repeat offenders.
• Heard a second presentation from Jimmy Bell, a professional angler from Ham Lake. He is hoping to secure the league as a host for a state high school bass fishing tournament beginning in 2019.
The league already is a presenting partner for clay target shooting and robotics tournaments.