Travis Mackey was named 2015 Athletic Director of the Year of Class “3A & 4A” by the Illinois Athletic Directors Association (IADA) and was honored recently at an awards dinner and program at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria.

Travis Mackey was named 2015 Athletic Director of the Year of Class “3A & 4A” by the Illinois Athletic Directors Association (IADA) and was honored recently at an awards dinner and program at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria.

Mackey has been athletic director at Geneseo High School for the last 14 years. In his position, he is responsible for developing and operating the facilities and programs.

According to a news release by the IADA, Geneseo’s facilities are second to none and have been featured in Athletic Business Magazine for fundraising more than $2.1 million for the activity center. Mackey served as chairman for the capital fundraising campaign with local dollars.

In addition, he raised money for a new football, baseball and basketball scoreboards for each facility with all three totaling in excess of $150,000.

Projects under his supervision include a new baseball diamond and softball complex along with raising $50,000 from video advertisement.

He is a lifetime member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as well as the Illinois Athletic Directors Association. Mackey has served on the sportsmanship advisory committee for the IHSA as well as on the IADA mentoring committee.

He has contributed to his community by serving on the board for the Geneseo Growth Preschool Program and on the board of Rebuilding Together Henry County, an organization invested in helping to rebuild homes for elderly and low-income homeowners in the Geneseo School District.

Mackey also has been involved in leadership for the Friends of Faith and Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Geneseo High School.

Prior to becoming athletic director at GHS in 2001, Mackey was a math and science teacher at Fulton High School before spending the next seven years as a math teacher at Rock Island High School.

During each of these stints, he coached football, wrestling and boys and girls track. He has been an assistant football coach at GHS for the last 14 years.

As athletic director at GHS, he has implemented several successful clubs for students such as a sports management club, broadcasting club, leadership with a purpose, book club for coaches and the House of Speed.

In 2012, Mackey started the Geneseo Athletic Hall of Fame.

He also served as conference president.

Mackey earned an undergraduate degree in math education from Truman State University and a master’s degree in sports management from Western Illinois University, Macomb.

He and his wife Kris have two sons, Zach, 19, a student at the University of Iowa; Tyler, a senior at GHS; two daughters, Maddie, a sophomore at GHS, and Allie a Geneseo Middle Schooler.

GHS Principal Mike Haugse praised Mackey’s work at GHS and said, “I can think of no one more deserving for an Athletic Director of the Year award than Travis Mackey. Travis will point to all of the people around him who help him to be successful in his job and try to take the attention off of himself.

“It is true, he has a tremendous support system in his wife, Kris, and their children. It is also true his secretary, Jill Harrington, is an unbelievably organized and thorough person. But, all that being said, Travis still is a great athletic director.”

Haugse said many people take for granted the work of an athletic director until there is an issue, then everyone knows the AD’s name.

“Many people also mistakenly think all an athletic director does is schedule games, referees, and facilities and then stand around while the game or contest is happening. Not only does Travis do all of this, he also performs countless other managerial and leadership tasks on a daily basis.”

Two programs or initiatives Haugse attributed to Mackey are the Coaches of Excellence training with Rod Olson, and the sports team captains’ leadership training.

“Travis has brought coach Rod Olson to District 228 to work with all of our coaches and activity sponsors. I believe coach Olson’s training with our coaches and sponsors about how to be three-dimensional coaches for our young people has had a tremendous impact upon our coaches and our programs,” he said. “The second initiative is the leadership sessions that Travis oversees with the sports team captains.

“In these training sessions, Travis provides leadership lessons on a wide variety of topics to help these young people become better leaders for their teams and in the hallways of GHS.”

The high school principal commended Mackey for his “tremendous work ethic, unquestioned character and love for kids.”

“Geneseo High School has some of the best athletic programs in the State of Illinois; it is no wonder Travis was recognized with the honor as Athletic Director of the Year,” Haugse said. “Travis is a great resource to me as high school principal, and a person I can always count on to do what is best for District 228 and Geneseo High School.

“Congratulations to Travis, his family, the members of the athletic department and all of those who are privileged enough to work with Travis on a daily basis.”