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'Be an example': LeVar Ridgeway is the first person of color on the WIAA executive staff

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 19:37:50-04

LeVar Ridgeway would prefer to work behind the scenes and let his work experience and resume speak for itself.

Ridgway is serving in an important role as the first person of color on the WIAA executive staff.

"I don't know if I'm a trailblazer," Ridgeway says. "I think I put in the work leading up to this opportunity. I've very appreciative of the opportunity I've been given. Looking forward to the point where it's not a trailblazer situation."

Ridgeway attended Brown Deer High School and previously worked at UW-Milwaukee and Shorewood High. He hopes to inspire others to follow his path.

"Being the first person of color to work at the WIAA office is definitely something special," Ridgeway says. "I think it's more important to me to be able to be an example for some of our younger student athletes to see where they could be in their careers, not only on the court, but off the court."

Working from the WIAA satellite office north of Milwaukee, Ridgeway can bridge a noticeable gap.

TMJ4's Lance Allan asked Ridgeway, being the first person of color on the executive staff, in his opinion, what took so long?

"Well I mean, obviously it's some different situations," Ridgeway says. "Obviously with the office being in Stevens Point, you know depending on who was looking to move to Stevens Point. Or depending on who had that skill set to be in that position. But I'm just happy that right now, there is someone, a person of color in the position. I'm very thankful to have that role. But I'm looking forward to the point where this isn't a conversation where we'll have more diverse staff."

Ridgeway is in charge of state tournaments for cross country, soccer, hockey and softball. Plus trouble shooting and pre-planning before seasons for coaches and officials, along with new rule changes.

"Everything is half full, because you never know what's going to happen in a given day, right?" Ridgeway says. "Especially in our line of work, it's always something. So you wake up and you come in the office and you figure out what's going to happen and you react to what the situations are and you make it work."

Ridgeway says he can get along with anyone, and that bridge building helps solve problems in the high school sports world.

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