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Roger Blake announces he will retire as executive director of CIF

Roger Blake announces he will retire as executive director of CIF
Roger Blake is stepping down as executive director of the CIF. He has been in charge since 2012. (CIF)

Roger Blake announced Monday that he will step down as executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation at the end of this school year. He has been head of the governing body for high school sports in California since 2012 and will conclude 43 years of working in secondary education.

“When I joined the CIF staff, I could not have imagined a more challenging and satisfying journey and to finish my educational career as the CIF executive director has been extremely rewarding,” he said.

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Blake turns 65 this month. He has worked for the CIF for 21 years. He’s the eighth person to hold the executive director position and succeeded Marie Ishida in 2012. The CIF will launch a search for his replacement.

The CIF has 831,000 male and female students playing high school sports among 1,606 schools, according to a 2018 census.

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Blake has championed education-based high school sports. He has faced challenges dealing with parents and the state Legislature. The CIF retreated from a once-strict policy on transfers after school choice became popular among legislators and legal costs rose in trying to defend CIF rules. The CIF has also expanded its state championships.

The next executive director will have to provide leadership on transfer issues, keep the CIF financially sound and help try to prevent a loss in participants in the state’s most popular sport, football.

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