Rick Strunk, associate commissioner of the N.C. High School Athletics Association and one of the best-known figures in North Carolina sports, will retire from his post at the NCHSAA at the end of December, the association’s interim director, Que Tucker, announced Monday.
Strunk, 62, has been with the NCHSAA for 30 years. He joined the association’s staff after a stint as sports information director at Furman University. Prior to that, he had been director of public relations at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory and also had extensive radio, television and newspaper experience.
His work with the NCHSAA has included media relations and a variety of special programs.
In addition to writing and designing publications and championship game programs as well as working with the media, Strunk also has coordinated press releases, content for the NCHSAA web site, the Scholar-Athlete program, the Wells Fargo Cup competition, the NCHSAA Hall of Fame, NCHSAA Day activities, Athlete of the Year and the NCHSAA Annual Meeting, and he initiated the association’s college intern program.
He is editor of the official North Carolina High School Sports Record Book, a work he collaborated on with then-News & Observer staffer Tim Stevens, and served eight years as chairman of the National Federation's National Records Committee.
“This is a bittersweet day for the NCHSAA,” Tucker said in a prepared statement emailed to the media. “Rick Strunk has been a very important and valuable member of this staff for the past 30 years, serving as the association’s historian, creating special programs to benefit the membership and building strong relationships with the media across the state in reporting the news and information of the association.
“His knowledge and understanding of the rules and regulations of the NCHSAA will be hard to replace. I will personally miss him; but I along with our staff, wish him well as he begins the next chapter of his life.”
Strunk has received Distinguished Service Awards from the NCHSAA, the N.C. Athletic Directors Association and the NIAAA, and he earned the National Federation Citation award in 2013, one of the most highly regarded achievements nationally in high school athletics and performing arts,
He is a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame.