Nearing the start of his seventh year as executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Robert Zayas still sees himself more toward the beginning of his tenure.
“This is a position that people really don’t leave,” Zayas said Thursday at the NYSPHSAA office. “I enjoy every single day with it. I really do, so I can’t fathom doing anything else.”
Zayas, 42, arrived in New York in 2012, after climbing through the ranks of the New Mexico Activities Association — that state’s equivalent to the NYSPHSAA — for a decade. Zayas lives in Clifton Park with wife Brooke and daughters Gabby and Olivia, and views his current position as one he’ll stay in as long as possible.
“People ask me about going into college athletics or professional athletics, and I don’t have any interest whatsoever,” said Zayas, who recently completed his doctorate in sports administration. “I enjoy the craziness of this position, it’s challenges, the politicking, the strategy, working on issues — and never forgetting why we do what we do, and that’s to positively impact kids. So I see myself being here for a very long time if things go the right way.”
With fall practices set to start in a few weeks, Zayas sat down to discuss a range of issues related to high school sports with The Daily Gazette.