Stephanie Hauser graduated from UWS in 1991 with a degree in secondary chemistry education. Now, she has been named the executive director of the WIAA.
Photo courtesy of the WIAA
By Jimmie Kaska
A UW-Superior alumna will lead the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) beginning this summer. Stephanie Hauser, a 1991 graduate of UW-Superior, was selected as the next executive director of the WIAA on April 16 by the WIAA’s Board of Control. “I’m honored and humbled to be in this position,” said Hauser.
Hauser, who has served as the assistant director of the WIAA since 2015, will officially assume the new role on July 31. Hauser will take the place of Dave Anderson, who is retiring after 12 years as executive director.
In addition to being only the sixth executive director in the 125-year history of the WIAA, Hauser will become the first female in the role. WIAA Board of Control President Eric Russell said that he’s proud to have Hauser represent the WIAA. “Stephanie brings great experience, plans, and excitement to the position,” said Russell.
In addition to her professional experience, serving in various leadership roles with the WIAA, Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, and sports advisory committees, Hauser said her experience as a student-athlete at UW-Superior helped prepare her for the role. “I’ve loved every step of my journey,” said Hauser.
Hauser’s journey began at UW-Madison. Entering her fifth semester, Hauser knew she wanted to do something with chemistry and sciences, and decided she wanted to teach. However, her experience entering the School of Education wasn’t quite what she expected. “My first education class at Madison had 250 to 300 students in it. I said to myself, I don’t know that it feels like what I’m looking for. I wanted something a little more personalized,” said Hauser.
It was perfect timing, said Hauser, when she went with her younger brother on a recruiting trip to the University of Minnesota Duluth. On the way back, they stopped at UW-Superior, where Hauser met with the school’s athletic director, as well as some of the coaches. Hauser knew she was where she belonged. “Before I left town, I was transferring to Superior,” said Hauser.
Hauser played three varsity sports during her two years at UW-Superior: volleyball, basketball, and softball. She graduated with a degree in secondary chemistry education in 1991. Those experiences, said Hauser, are valuable perspectives for the work she is doing now with the WIAA. “Those perspectives have really helped me to have a valid appreciation for where people come from,” said Hauser.
“My experience as a three-sport athlete in high school and at UW-Superior helped me to fully understand and appreciate the connection that a student makes with their school by being involved in extra-curricular activities. To this day, it is something which motivates me to strive to increase student participation in all schools,” said Hauser. ‘Humble and hungry,’ a phrase Hauser said she borrowed from Stevens Point basketball coach Scott Anderson, is an accurate description of her reaction upon hearing she would become the new executive director.
“My experiences have prepared me for this, and I literally can’t wait to get started. I’m excited for what lies ahead,” said Hauser.