By Mark Ambrogi
Kelly Antcliff knows she is fortunate to be afforded the opportunities to be creative in her administrative role.
Antcliff, the athletic director for Zionsville Middle School and Zionsville West Middle School, was recently named the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Middle School Athletic Administrator of the Year.
“It is an incredible honor, knowing how many other outstanding athletic directors there are in this state,” she said. “I have been blessed to work with some remarkable coaches, student-athletes and administrators while at Zionsville Community Schools who have afforded me many opportunities to help me grow within my profession.”
Antcliff, a Zionsville resident, was nominated as the District 3 AD of the Year in September. The six statewide district winners are then up for the state award. Antcliff was selected by her peers to receive it for 2017. She was the District 3 nominee for the state award in 2016 as well.
During her tenure, Antcliff created Battle of the Nest to help enhance enthusiasm and energy surrounding the competitions between the two Zionsville middle schools.
“We created the Nest trophy from scratch back in 2011, and it has been a big hit with our student bodies,” Antcliff said. “The winner of the competition receives the Nest traveling trophy and it remains in the front office of that school until the next Battle for the Nest competition. All sports have the opportunity to participate.”
Another program she is very proud of creating at the two middle schools is Student Athletic Leaders.
“We meet once every three weeks at 7 a.m. to talk about topics such as sportsmanship, rivalries, how to handle teammates that are uncooperative, not fearing failure, social media, how to handle pressure, transitioning to high school athletics and more,” Antcliff said. “We incorporate guest speakers and go on field trips and do volunteer projects such as the Indiana Sports Corporation’s Geared for Health and the Interactive Academy low ropes course. These students are responsible for reading off our sportsmanship pledge before contests and being the ‘eyes and ears’ of our programs.”
She also created Caught in the Act to recognize off-the-court or field efforts by middle school athletes.
Antcliff, a former Guerin Catholic High School volleyball coach from 2004 to 2007, was an assistant coach on the Zionsville Community High School volleyball staff from 2008 to 2010.