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Tripp turned things around at NMAA

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By Mike Cote

In his seven-plus years there, I have only spoken to New Mexico Activities Association executive director Gary Tripp just once. Very briefly.
I met him at the 2008 state wrestling tournament. He asked me how everything was going. I told him just fine and mentioned to him how smoothly that and other state events had been running. We shook hands and went about our business.
Tripp took over as head of the NMAA, which oversees most interscholastic sports in the state, in 2004. Within a few days of his taking over the NMAA, I left the Los Alamos Monitor to pursue other interests.
Those other interests didn’t turn out to be quite as interesting as I had envisioned, so I returned to the Monitor in 2007. I had only been back a few months when I ran into Tripp and in that time I had already noticed a difference.
Actually, many people have told me many things began to change within a few weeks of Tripp’s appointment, virtually all of them for the better.
“Gary’s done a great job,” said longtime KRSN announcer Gene Mortensen, who has dealt with the NMAA both as a news organization and as a public address announcer working for the association during state tournaments. “He’s whipped the place into shape and he’s a real down-to-earth guy…he’s a great people person.”


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