Jim Piccolo

Jim Piccolo, center, is inducted into the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Hall of Fame on Dec. 14, 2021.

Longtime Stanwood High athletic director Jim Piccolo has been inducted into the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Hall of Fame.

Piccolo becomes only the second person from Washington to be chosen for the honor, joining longtime Seattle School District athletic director Barbara Twardus.

“I’m humbled and honored,” said Piccolo, the Stanwood High School athletic director from 1984-2006.

Piccolo was honored during the 52nd National Athletic Directors Conference on Dec. 14 in Denver.

He was honored for, among many attributes and efforts, his work developing classes and resources to help athletic directors across the country.

“There was no real book, no classes on how to be an athletic director,” Piccolo said. “I had a passion to teach to get information back out to athletic directors and create classes for new athletic directors to show how to do their job.”

In addition to being the Stanwood athletic director and a vice principal, he traveled the country teaching and mentoring athletic directors and coaches.

“I’ve always believed you have to put the athletes first and winning comes second,” said Piccolo, who also was inducted into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. “Too many times winning is No. 1. ... If all I worried about is winning, it wouldn’t take care of the athlete and their needs.”

During Piccolo’s tenure at Stanwood High, he helped develop the 4A Booster Club, the Athletic/Academic Awards night, an athletic training program and the Stanwood Athletic Hall of Fame.

He also was named the 1999 Washington State High School Athletic Director of the Year; he is a Washington State Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame inductee; he is a Washington State Administrators president and past president; and in 2000, he was named National Athletic Director of the Year by the National Alliance for Health, P. E., Recreation and Dance.

“This isn’t my award,” Piccolo said. “This award belongs to my community, those boys and girls who walked through the halls when I was there, coaches, state WIAA and state athletic directors.”

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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