The roots of the AIAAA stem back to 1998 when the idea of an Athletic Director Association was first floated at an ASAA Strategic Planning meeting. Four years later in 2002 the ASAA held its first Athletic Director (AD) Forum in Banff, Alberta with 65 ADs in attendance. In 2004, ASAA Executive Director John Paton met with National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) in Indianapolis to discuss bringing the NIAAA’s Leadership Training Program (LTP) to Canada. As President of the Canadian School Sport Federation (CSSF), John Paton introduced this initiative to his Provincial counterparts, at that time. There was genuine interest but insufficient funds to embark on this initiative.
In 2006 the ASAA held its second Athletic Director forum, this time with 80 ADs in attendance. During the forum, it was suggested that the ASAA initiate the creation of an AD association. A year later a presentation was made to the ASAA Board of Governors who directed a survey be conducted to evaluate support for such an association. With the overwhelming support of the survey, the ASAA Executive approved moving forward with a Community Initiatives Program grant application to cover start-up costs. In April 2008 the CIP grant was approved and a full-time staff person was hired to oversee the initiative. In September of 2008, five AIAAA Delegates traveled to Indianapolis to meet with the NIAAA to begin the process of bringing the Leadership Training Program to Alberta. At this meeting a memorandum of agreement was signed for the rights to teach and edit NIAAA course curriculum and two courses (501 & 502) began being edited to reflect the Canadian/Alberta situation. By November 2008 a Course Content Committee was established to complete the process of reviewing and “Canadianizing” content for 501 & 502. Over the next six months, development continued with a logo being approved, a relationship with the NIAAA being nurtured, and course instructors being trained.
The AIAAA delivered its first Leadership Training courses on April 30th and May 1st, 2009 in Banff as part an Athletic Director Forum of the Health and Physical Education Council conference. Attendance between both courses (now titled 501C & 502C) surpassed 175 current and aspiring Athletic Administrators from three provinces. Feedback was outstanding. Following the success of these deliveries, the support of an ASRPWF grant and funding from the ASAA allowed the AIAAA to develop two legal modules to join the Leadership Training Program course catalogue as 504C and 506C.
The AIAAA was incorporated under the Societies Act of Alberta in July 2009. In September 2009, the association appointed and elected its first Board of Directors with representation from all corners of the province. Steve Lush from Bentley, Alberta was elected the first President. Today the AIAAA is constantly adding to its five course Leadership Training Program and always seeking ways to promote the professional growth and image of interscholastic athletic administrators in Alberta schools. The AIAAA maintains close ties with the ASAA without whose ongoing support, this initiative would not be possible.