SOUTH BEND - Former Washington Interscholastic Activities Association executive director Clifford Allen Gillies passed way on May 24, 2004, at his home in South Bend.
Gillies, who can be characterized as a friend of all Washington high school athletes, especially those in the Southwest part of the state, had suffered from a long illness. He served as the WIAA Executive Director for 11 years from 1982-93 and was a charter member of the WIAA Hall of Fame when he was inducted on April 21, 2004.
He began his educational career in 1951 as a teacher and coach at Monroe High School. Gillies later served in a number of administrative capacities in Washington state high schools, including stints as the principal at Monroe, Snohomish and Mariner High Schools.
In 1974 he was honored as one of 20 outstanding principals in the nation and in 1978 as one of 60 outstanding secondary school principals in the United States. Gillies began working with the WIAA as a member of the Northwest District One Executive Board from 1961-68 and served as a member of the WIAA Executive Board from 1968-1975.
After retiring from the Mukilteo School District, Gillies was named the WIAA's Executive Director in 1982. He also served as a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations Executive Board of Directors from 1988-91 and was that board's President from 1990-91. During Gillies' reign as WIAA executive director, the Association restructured the state football playoff system, developed a drug education program, and started the student scholarship recognition award.
He has received numerous awards including the Hal Moe Meritorious Award, the WIAA Meritorious Service Award, the Gareth Giles Award, Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award, the Everett Herald Outstanding Achievement in Sports Award, and the National Federation Citation Award. He has written more than 200 professional articles and is the author of two books.
Gillies often gave inspirational speeches at local high schools after his retirement from the WIAA. He attended many sporting events in Pacific County and was a life-long fan of high school athletics.