Cliff Gillies, longtime executive director of the Washington Intercollegiate Activities Association (WIAA, 1982-93) and former president of the National Federation of State High Schools Association (1990-91), has received the Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award. The award was presented February 4 during the 2002 Man of the Year banquet in South Bend, Washington.
Gillies was recognized for leadership and service to the youth of Washington as a teacher, coach, counselor, principal, assistant superintendent, and as executive director of the WIAA during a career that spanned more than 40 years.
As executive director of the WIAA, Gillies and his staff were responsible for overseeing athletics for more than 300,000 students, including 120 state championship competitions. The WIAA is the largest sports organization in the state and represent more than 700 middle schools and high schools.
The South Bend native served in the Army Air Force during World War II as a cryptographer, coding and decoding secret message. He earned bachelor’s (1951) and master’s (1959) degrees in physical education at WSU.
Gillies began his teaching and coaching career at Monroe Junior High in 1959. Later, he was principal of Monroe (1959-63), Snohomish (1963-68) and Mariner (1968-77) high schools, before serving four years as assistant superintendent of the Mukilteo School District, home of Mariner High.
In 1974, he was recognized as one of 20 outstanding principals in the nation, and in 1978 was one of the 60 outstanding secondary school principals in the United States. He has written more than 200 professional articles and is the author of two books.
Gillies and his wife, Sally, live in South Bend and are the parents of three grown children.