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Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod to retire in a year

Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod issued a long commissioner’s message Tuesday regarding a preview of the 2022-23 school year.

One paragraph explained that schools will vote in September on whether to support the addition of girls’ flag football as a CIF-approved support. Another paragraph noted that the Rose Bowl will serve as the site for the Division 1 football final. Still another paragraph stated the Southern Section will hold its first beach volleyball championship in late April or early May.

Not until the bottom of the email was there a “final thought,” where Wigod announced that this coming school year would be his last as commissioner. He will retire Aug. 1, 2023.

Talk about burying the lead.

Wigod took over as commissioner 11 years ago after serving as an assistant commissioner. It’s a tough job, because making everyone happy about an issue or a situation is nearly impossible.

There have been many changes and trends statewide involving high school sports that he and other commissioners haven’t necessarily liked but were forced to take on, particularly the proliferation of transfers. Lots of money was spent on lawyers and many hours were devoted to hearings before the CIF loosened transfer rules. The decision was approved by member schools, and Wigod and his staff have been implementing changes ever since.

He has fought to keep education-based high school sports viable. And now a successor will have to take on that responsibility.

One of Wigod’s key accomplishments was unveiled last year when for the first time football playoff teams were seeded in divisions based on their performance instead of a predetermined placement before the season. Other sports plan to follow that pattern in the coming years. He also steered the Southern Section through two years of challenging times during the pandemic, dealing with the financial ramifications and working to get athletes back competing.

Wigod was unavailable for comment, according to Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons. Now the Southern Section Executive Committee will need to find a successor.

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Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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