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It came as a bit of a shock to Los Alamos High School athletic director Vicki Nelms when she heard.
Just two weeks earlier, meeting with the top officials from the New Mexico Activities Association, Nelms got no indication that Gary Tripp might be stepping down from his top post.
However, Tripp, the executive director of the NMAA, the governing body of most interscholastic sports and activities in the state, announced Monday that he will be leaving the association’s top job effective at the end of the 2011-12 academic year.
“It was a surprise that he was retiring,” said Nelms, who was hired in 2007 and has never worked with another NMAA executive director. “He’s been great to work with. He’s professional and he believes in kids.”
Tripp made the announcement that he was retiring at a press conference in Albuquerque.
He was hired in March 2004, becoming just the fifth executive director in the NMAA’s 73-year history.
Tripp, who has teaching experience and held the athletic director position at Rio Rancho High School just prior to becoming the top official at the NMAA, took over for longtime association head Dan Salzwedel, who left before the conclusion of that academic year.
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