Rhonda Blanford-Green always has been on the fast track.
After a stellar prep career at Aurora Central High School
, Blanford-Green became a 10-time All-American in track and field at the University of Nebraska.
Blanford-Green, a fixture at the Colorado High School Activities Association for the past 16 years, has been hired as the executive director of the Nebraska School Activities Association. She will take over for Steve Shanahan, who was NSAA's interim executive director the past two years.
The decision was officially announced Monday. It came as no surprise, as I had chatted with Blanford-Green at the state wrestling tournament this past weekend about the NSAA.
While she was conflicted about leaving her position as the associate commissioner with the CHSAA, she also relished the opportunity to be a trendsetter nationally. She said she will be the first African-American woman to lead a state governing body when she takes over the NSAA on July 1.
It also came as no surprise that Blanford-Green was a unanimous choice by the NSAA Board of Directors. She beat out three other finalists on an 8-0 vote, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of dealing with Blanford-Green can't help but appreciate her energy, intelligence and honesty. Simply, you always know where you stand with her.
She also understands her role in the high school community, as well as nationally, where she has been active with the National Federation of State High School Associations. Additionally, Blanford-Green has been a staunch advocate of opportunities for girls sports.
"I understand what the expectations are. You can't waiver from that," Blanford-Green told the newspaper. "The executive director is the face and the brand of the organization. The mission is what we're about. Every conversation is about communicating our mission and what we're about."
Colorado's loss certainly is Nebraska's gain.