Rick Wulkow, the executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) for the past 10 years, is stepping down after 35 years of service to Iowa students and member schools.

The IHSAA’s Board of Control accepted Wulkow’s formal resignation during its monthly meeting held in Dubuque over the weekend, effective January 31, 2015. Following the meeting, board chairperson and Cedar Rapids Xavier Principal Tom Keating also announced that Alan Beste would take over as the organization's new executive director on February 1st.

“I am excited the Board of Control has the confidence in me to be the next Executive Director," Beste said. "I am proud to have a great staff in place and I will do my best to follow two of the best leaders in the business – Bernie (Saggau) and Rick.”

Beste joined the IHSAA staff in 1989 as a Wellness Coordinator. He has been the organization’s Assistant/Associate Director since July 1998.

Wulkow became the fourth executive director of the 109-year old Association when he accepted the leadership reins from Bernie Saggau, who served 37 years as executive director. It was Saggau who recruited him from the public school ranks in 1980 to join the IHSAA as an assistant executive director.

Rick Wulkow - Courtesy: IHSAA

Wulkow was appointed by the Board of Control to follow Saggau on January 1, 2005.

“I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve the IHSAA member schools and students for 35 years,” Wulkow said. “I have never considered my career opportunities as work and I have been fortunate to interact and be part of programs that have been led by so many great people.”

Wulkow indicated that education and education-based activities have been passions of his since his youth.

“Throughout my lifetime, I have been blessed with many wonderful professional opportunities and any success I have experienced is a direct result of those who surround me,” he said. “My wife Barb, three daughters and their families have sacrificed and throughout have been my strongest supporters. Now is the time for me to give back to them what they have given me.”