Que Tucker, deputy commissioner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association, agreed to become the organization’s interim commissioner starting in June because she still loves high school athletics and appreciates what education-based sports can do for young people.
“I believe in what we are trying to do,” Tucker said Friday morning, minutes after the NCHSAA board of directors approved a recommendation by the executive committee to name her as successor to Davis Whitfield, who is resigning to join the National Federation of State High School Associations.
“I love the association. I love high school athletics. I love North Carolina. I love what high school athletics can do for young people,” Tucker said. “If the executive committee wants me to serve in this role and the board of directors wants me, then I am honored to accept.”
Whitfield led the association, which organizes high school athletics for 400 member schools, for the past five years. He will resign May 31 to become the chief operating officer of the National Federation, which is made up of state associations such as the NCHSAA.
“Davis’ resignation was very sudden and very unexpected,” Tucker said. “Everything happened so quickly.”
Tucker will become the interim commissioner on June 1 and the appointment will run through May 31, 2016.
Tucker is a native of Rockingham County and coached girls basketball (145-104) and volleyball (58-16) at Reidsville Senior High. Later, she was an assistant women’s basketball coach at N.C. State under Kay Yow.
She joined the association staff in 1991 to head its student services program, which dealt with academic responsibility, citizenship, leadership, chemical awareness and healthy living.
She has overseen the NCHSAA’s 23-sport program since 2005.
Charlie Adams, Whitfield’s predecessor, said Tucker is one of the most admired high school athletic administrators in the country.
“When we went to national meeting, people hovered around her, wanting to get her ideas and opinions,” Adams said.
Tucker said she expects to have a learning curve even though she has been involved in the NCHSAA for 24 years.
“Davis’ seat is different,” Tucker said. “You are involved in everything.”
Dr. Bill Miller, president of the NCHSAA and superintendent of the Polk County schools, said the interim position would give the NCHSAA board more time to develop timelines and the appropriate process to fill the position on a permanent basis.