Becky Oakes – Sports Administration

A native of Rolla, Missouri, Becky Oakes began a lifelong love and appreciation of sport in elementary school playing softball and making the decision to become a physical education teacher. In high school Becky participated in intramurals and community sports, music and student government.

Oakes attended Southwest Missouri State University earning her bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1976 and her Masters in Secondary School Administration from Central Missouri State University.  Becky participated in volleyball, softball and field hockey.  Oakes served as co-captain of the field hockey team and experienced the Lady Bears College Softball World Series championship.  Oakes continues to stay involved with MSU supporting athletics and the University. Becky is a member of the Missouri State University Athletic Hall of Fame and has received The Outstanding Young Alumnae Award.

Upon graduation Becky’s passion for sports and education was the right path. She assumed a teaching position in the Waynesville Fort Leonard Wood Schools where she coached volleyball, basketball and track and field.  Oakes’ volleyball teams captured five conference titles while her track and field teams captured five conference and district titles, state championships and never finishing lower than sixth at state. Oakes was twice named Outstanding Track Coach of the Year by the Missouri Track and Cross Country Coaches Association. Oakes became the first female athletic director at WHS and during her tenure Waynesville hosted an MSHSAA State Volleyball Tournament, the football team played in their first post season games and the athletic department flourished.

From 1982 until January 2006, Oakes was on the staff of the Missouri State High School Activities Association.  She served as assistant executive director, associate executive director and in 1992 became the executive director and only one of two females to assume this position nationwide.  Oakes continued to be a “pioneer” as she joined the National Federation of State High School Associations Board of Directors and was elected the first female president of the Board. Becky’s responsibilities included softball, volleyball, swimming and diving, music, speech and debate, track and field, coaches’ education, spirit and awards.   As director she was responsible for finance, eligibility, insurance, litigation, legislative liaison, transfers and general oversight.

Becky was a passionate advocate of the importance of sportsmanship and its role in educational athletics/activities.  Several sportsmanship initiatives were implemented with a highlight for Oakes being the implementation of the Sportsmanship Summit.

During Oakes’ tenure as director, MSHSAA experienced significant growth.  To better serve the schools, the staff grew in size to 25, a new building was constructed, financial solvency for the Association achieved, 70 team championships were conducted, 22 activities were under the jurisdiction of the Association and classification expanded in 10 activities. Efforts to improve officiating expanded to include mandatory mechanics clinics, certified officials associations, additional observers programs and an officials’ recognition program.  Expanding educational opportunities for coaches was also on the list for Oakes including mandatory coaches education and first aid programs, non-faculty coaching requirements, clinics and the addition of the Coaches and Sports Medicine Advisory Committees. Area meetings were expanded and required MSHSAA education meetings added for administrators.  Several recognition programs were implemented to recognize service and accomplishments of individuals and students.  These included the Distinguished Service Awards program, Scholastic Achievement Awards program and Music Awards.  Improvement in the venues for MSHSAA Championships evolved as competition took place in Edward Jones Dome, Mizzou Arena, Cooper Tennis Complex, St. Peters Rec-Plex to name a few.

Oakes championed the schools to embrace diversity and worked to expand the Board of Directors to include athletic administrators as eligible for election, inclusion of minority and female representation and greater diversity on all MSHAA committees. Championship schedules were revised to rotate not only by class but by gender as well in all tournaments where both boys and girls participated.

Oakes has been recognized with the NFHS Coaches Association National Citation, NAGWS Pathfinder Award, MIAAA Gerald Linneman Lifetime Achievement Award and the MSHSAA Irvine Keller Award for services to school athletics/activities

Joining the NFHS in 2006, Becky assumed responsibilities as Director of Sports and liaison for volleyball, swimming and diving, water polo, track and field and cross country, boys and girls gymnastics and workshop coordinator NFHS national conferences.  Oakes has served on the Board of Directors for USA Gymnastics, USA Volleyball and currently USA Track and Field.  She serves on USAV Rules Commission, Joint Administrative Council and chairs the Affiliate Membership Committee.  Oakes served on USATF Youth Advisory Council and the Rules Commission.

Becky’s greatest passion is her family.  She and her husband Eric, who is a retired middle school counselor and coach, have been married more than 40 years.  Their daughter Amy followed her mom with softball, volleyball and now enjoys her running along with her husband William.  They all enjoy the outdoors, the lake and always root for the Cardinals.