The prestigious award, which is given to one athletic director from each state each year, for “outstanding leadership and meritorious achievement in interscholastic athletic administration,” according to the wording on the award plaque.
Dolphin, who has been the athletic and activities director at GCHS for the past 15 years, also received a certificate from the NIAAA recognizing him for 15 years of outstanding service.
“It’s really hard to speak of an award. I just do my job to the best of my ability with a focus on what’s best for kids,” Dolphin told The Times-Independent. “Awards mean very little to me and it’s hard to accept because for me, it’s nothing more than doing my job. I will say that it is very humbling to be recognized by the National Association on merit. Only a few receive this special recognition so I am truly honored, but more humbled to be recognized.”
Also honored at the same conference was GCHS senior Adam Jenkinson, who was named the top scholar-athlete for the entire state of Utah (all classifications) by the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (UIAAA). In connection with that honor, Jenkinson also received a “Minute Man” plaque from the Utah National Guard.
According to Dolphin, Jenkinson “wowed” the athletic directors at the conference with his speech about how athletics have impacted his academics and citizenship.
“Several [athletic directors] commented that Adam’s speech was the best ever heard; even speeches given at the national conference don’t reach the caliber of the one Adam gave,” Dolphin said, calling Jenkinson’s remarks “truly an inspiration.”
“It was truly amazing and humbling for the ADs,” added Dolphin. “I received many compliments from well-established ADs and to even have the NIAAA Executive Director, Bruce Whitehead, comment to me how impressed he was with Adam’s comments really rang true to the work we do for kids.”
He said some UIAAA officials were still talking about Jenkinson’s speech long after the ceremony.
“I had dinner this past weekend with UIAAA Executive Director Marc Hunter and he and his family spoke well of Adam’s speech a week later and away from an athletic mindset,” Dolphin said. “It truly demonstrates the positive impact and cohesiveness that exists with academics and athletics.”
Jenkinson said he was honored to receive the award and to speak to the conference.
“It was an awesome experience for me to be able to talk about my own experiences as a student athlete, and how athletics have helped me achieve success.”
Jenkinson, who is the son of Richard Jenkinson and Cheryl Jenkinson, will attend Yale University in the fall. He currently plays baseball for the Red Devils, where Dolphin is his assistant coach.