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The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that longtime executive director Jack Roberts will be retiring in August.

Roberts has served as the MHSAA executive director since the fall of 1986.

In a MHSAA press release, it noted that under Roberts’ leadership, overall participation in high school athletics in the state has increased by 10 percent and that the MHSAA has added more than 200 schools in increasing its membership by more than 15 percent at the high school and junior high/middle schools combined.

“I don’t think anybody could have been luckier than I to enjoy their work so much and to enjoy the people he worked with so much,” Roberts said in the release.

“It has been a blessing to be able to bring my passions to work every day and be able to act on my convictions. I don’t think anybody could ever feel more called to a job than I did. In fact, this wasn’t a job at the MHSAA. The MHSAA was my purpose for these three decades.”

Roberts has made sure the MHSAA added girls competitive cheer (1994), girls and boys bowling (2004) and girls and boys lacrosse (2005) to the tournament lineup, along with the creation of separate wrestling tournament to determine champions by a team format (1998) and 8-player football in 2010 with its first playoffs in 2011 since many of the smaller schools had trouble getting enough players out for the traditional sport.

david.goricki@detroitnews.com