By Michele Dotson

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Independence High School Athletic Director Kelly Lewis was named Athletic Director of the Year for North Carolina at the NCADA spring conference in Asheville on March 23.

Kelly Lewis was named Athletic Director of the Year by the North Carolina Athletic Director Association (NCADA) at the 2014 spring conference in Asheville, NC on March 23.

Lewis, who has been athletic director (AD) at Independence for 10 years, was honored at the spring conference at the Grove Park Inn.

The North Carolina Athletic Directors Association was formed in 1970 by the late Bob Jamieson of Greensboro, and others, with the hopes of providing athletic directors a forum for sharing their common concerns and problems while growing professionally.

Independence High School principal Amy Dellinger says Lewis has many responsibilities, and he is a true professional.

“He is very deserving,” says Dellinger. “He is an exceptional leader, athletic director and teacher.  He works extremely hard to keep our coaches informed and on top of student academics, eligibility, rule changes, and expectations of the program.”

Dellinger went on to say that Lewis sponsors monthly coaches meetings and maintains positive relationships with parents and students, as well as city, and community partners.

“His primary focus is always on student athletes and providing the best opportunity possible,” says Dellinger.  “He sincerely and genuinely cares about our student athletes and the experience they receive at Independence.”

Lewis, who is actually a member of the nominating committee, was completely surprised by the award.

“The NCADA takes nominations throughout the different regions of the state,” says Lewis. “Once the committee has received all the nominations, we go over the resumes and come to a decision. Obviously they left me off the chain of emails this year.”

Lewis has been teaching and coaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg for 19 of his 24 years in education. He was a football and baseball coach at West Charlotte from 1994-2000 before moving over to Independence to coach from 2001-2002 before moving to Waddell in 2003 to take his first AD job.

He returned Independence the next year where he remains as athletic director.

“I am very humbled and honored to receive the award,” says Lewis. “To receive such an award voted on by your peers in athletic administration makes it that much more special.”