Former Michigan commissioner dies
The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association is mourning the death of former commissioner Albert L. Deal, who died February 14 in Grand Haven, Michigan, after a lingering illness. Deal, who had been named commissioner emeritus, was 93.
"This is, of course, a very sad time for the MIAA and our member schools," said current Commissioner David Neilson. "Al Deal was a giant in the history of the MIAA, serving at a time of great transition in collegiate athletics."
Deal was commissioner from 1971-91. He guided the MIAA through a historic period in which it became one of the first collegiate conferences in America to have a combined governance structure for men's and women's sports.
He received a bachelor's degree at Kalamazoo and a master’s in school administration at Michigan.
In 2003 the MIAA established the Albert L. Deal Scholar-Athlete Award, which is presented annually to the top graduating male scholar-athlete in the league.
In a career spanning 40 years in Michigan public education, he served four school districts as superintendent, including the Kent County Intermediate School District. He also was elected president of the Michigan High School Athletic Association and was active in the Michigan Association of School Administrators. In 1988 he was inducted into the Michigan Education Hall of Fame.
He received the Michigan Sport Sages' Humanitarian Award in 1991 and was voted into the Kalamazoo athletics hall of fame in 1995. In 1999, his alma mater presented him its Distinguished Service Award
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