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2020-2021 DIAA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Announced

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2020-2021 DIAA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Announced 

(Dover, DE) February 1, 2021 – The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) recognized Kevin Charles, Debbie Corrado and James Harvey with Lifetime Achievement awards at the 76th Annual DIAA meeting.  The outstanding honorees are being recognized for their exemplary contributions and service.   The awards were presented and awarded virtually. 

James (Jim) Harvey served the DIAA for 39 years as an athletic director, coach, and board and committee member.  Harvey was the athletic director at Caesar Rodney High School for 24 years where he also coached tennis until his retirement in 2006.  His roles in DIAA, which was formerly Delaware Secondary School Athletic Association (DSSAA), included serving on the Tennis Committee and summarizing 10-plus years of DSSAA board minutes.  He was also on the By-Laws Committee, in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors for DSSAA and DIAA.  

“I would like to thank DIAA for this recognition.  Also I would like to thank the Caesar Rodney Administration for their support and encouragement.  I realize it takes all the DIAA athletic directors and board members working together to establish an equal playing field for our high school athletes," Harvey said.

Debbie Corrado served the DIAA for 41 years as an athletic director, coach, and board and committee member.  Corrado was a special education and physical education teacher for 34 years at Concord High School, being the athletic director for 11 years.  During her teaching career, she also coached boys tennis, volleyball, swimming, and basketball.  She won state championships in volleyball (1992) and boys tennis (1995).  Corrado was recognized by Delaware Association of Athletic Directors (DAAD) twice, as the State Athletic Director of the Year in 2007 and 2014.  She also received the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) State Award for Outstanding Service in 2013-14.  Corrado also served as the State Volleyball Committee Chair and State Tennis Committee Chair for many years.  Her impressive service to the DIAA also includes serving as a member of the Rules and Regulation Committee and as a DIAA board member.  

“I was very surprised and quite honored to receive this award.  There is nothing more rewarding than coaching student athletes to work hard and strive to be the best that they can be.  When I became an athletic administrator, my priority was to try and make the athletes experience as positive and enjoyable as possible.  I was lucky to have had a career that I loved and to have worked with so many wonderful people that helped to shape my career," Corrado said.

Kevin Charles has been serving the DIAA for the past 44 years in many different capacities including executive director, wrestling official,  wrestling state interpreter and committee member.  Charles was an official for the Delaware Wrestling Officials Association (DWOA) for 31 years and was the DWOA assignor for 18 years.  His many other roles included DIAA wrestling rules interpreter, and the State Wrestling Committee chair for 10 years. Charles joined DIAA in 2004 as the coordinator of interscholastic athletics and was elevated to executive director in 2005.  He retired in 2016, although he continues to stay involved with DIAA as a current committee member for golf and unified sports.  Charles' contributions are not just limited to Delaware; he also represented the First State proudly by serving on the National Federation of State High Schools Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors and NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. He also held the position of NFHS President.  

"This is a great honor, and I am proud to share it with two of the giants of DIAA/DSSAA history, Deb Corrado and Jim Harvey. I had the great fortune of working with so many of these giants- they fought the Title IX wars, they helped form the organization, they wrote the by-laws and they began the state tournaments. They were a great resource, they challenged and inspired me, and they made me better than I would have been without them. I am most proud of the 'esprit de corps' we shared through the years. Lord knows we didn't always agree. But we were always pulling in the same direction and doing our best for the students we served," Charles said.

Executive Director Donna Polk said, "The DIAA would not be where it is today without the extraordinary service of James Harvey, Debbie Corrado, and Kevin Charles.  We thank each of them for their selfless contributions in pushing this organization forward and aiding in our mission to promote interscholastic athletics in Delaware."

For media inquiries contact Alison May at Alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, and for information regarding DIAA, contact diaa@doe.k12.de.us .