About Mike Ellson, CMAA

Executive Director: Mike Ellson, CMAA-U

9000 Poplar Creek Road,
Nashville, TN 37221


To have the opportunity to make an impact by serving and assisting educational leaders as they seek to inspire students to have a positive experience through participation in Education.


  • Bachelor of Science Degree, Secondary Education – Welch College, May 1987.
  • Master of Education in Administration and Supervision - Tennessee State University, May 1994.
  • American Sport Education Program (ASEP) Coaching Principles and Sport First Aid Course Certification, November 2001.
  • National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) distinction, January 2005, and, Certified Masters Athletic Administrator (CMAA) distinction, December 2008. 
  • National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS) Level I Certified & Accredited Coach.
  • Completed over 50 NIAAA Leadership Training Institute Courses.
  • Completed over 30 NFHS Learn Courses.
  • Lifetime Educator Certification - Association of Christian Schools International, June 2006.
  • AED & CPR Certified 2011-2023.
  • Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) Certification 1995 – 2022.
  • NIAAA Certified Test Administrator, December 2009-2021.

Work Experience:

  • Athletic Administration:
  • In the third year of the school’s existence, started athletic program at Christ Presbyterian Academy by leading and coaching all athletic teams in 1987, and served as the 1st Athletic Director in school history for over 30 years.
  • Recruited volunteers to serve in the Athletic Booster Club/CPA Athletic Alliance/CPA Dads supporting both middle school and high school sports programs.
  • Mentored and evaluated male and female coaches for over three decades in sports such as golf, cheerleading, football, basketball, soccer, cross country, track, baseball, softball, tennis, swimming, wrestling, mountain biking, and girls/boys lacrosse.
  • Developed sports medicine program with assistance from local physicians and physical therapy institutions.  Also collaborated with neurosurgeon regarding Impact Concussion Management Program for high school student-athletes.
  • Department Chairman K-12 Physical Education/Wellness Program, 1992-2012.
  • Was responsible for leading athletic department staff that included Athletic Administrative Assistant, Middle School Athletic Director, Sports Medicine Trainers (ATC Certified) Head Groundskeeper, Athletic Business Manager, Athletics Coordinator, and Management/Supervision/Evaluation of nearly 60 athletic teams and over 70 Coaches.  
  • Coaching:
  • High School Boys Basketball Head Coach, 1988 - February 2000.
  • First Girls & Boys Basketball Coach in School History
  • TANAS State Champions (Tennessee Association of Non-Public Academic Schools), 1992. 
  • TSSAA District 9A Champions, 1998.  Overall record of 184-142.
  • High School Girls Basketball Head Coach, 2007 – 2010.
  • TSSAA District Champions 2009 & 2010; Region Champions & Sectional Champions 2010.
  • TSSAA State Tournament (Class AA) Quarterfinals 2010.  Overall Record of 75-28.
  • High School Girls & Boys Combined Record: 259-170
  • Several players (Boys & Girls) have gone on to play multiple college & professional sports. 
  • AAU Boys Basketball Head Coach 2001-2007
  • AAU Girls Basketball Head Coach 2011-2014
  • Middle School Girls & Boys Cross Country Head Coach (Nearly Every Year), 1987 – 2007.
  • Other Middle School Sports Coached, 1987-1991.
  • Girls & Boys Basketball, Girls & Boys Soccer, Girls & Boys Track, and Baseball.
  • Camp Director:
  • Directed All-Sports Camps, 1996-2021.
  • CPA & Nike Basketball Camp Director/Instructor, 1988-2013.
  • WNSL Basketball Clinic Director 2013-17.
  • Educator/Teacher:
  • Physical Education Instructor for students’ kindergarten through eighth grade, 1986-87 (Park Avenue Christian School) and 1987-1999 (CPA).

Leadership Positions:

  • Post-Season Tournament Director for numerous (District, Region, & Sectional) TSSAA post-season tournaments in football, basketball, volleyball, girls’ soccer, boys’ soccer, and tennis.
  • Athletic District Coordinator for all sports in TSSAA Districts 9AA & 10AA, 2008-2013.
  • State Delegate (multiple years) at National AD Conf. (Representing Tennessee) to the NIAAA.
  • Host Committee Member for the National AD Conference, 2007, and Chairman, 2016
  • Facilitator of National Athletic Directors Conference Chapel Service, 2007 & 2016. 
  • NIAAA Hall of Fame Awards Banquet Invocation, 2013 & 2016.
  • Presented and moderated multiple NFHS/NIAAA National Conference Workshops.
  • Professional Development Presenter for Middle School & High School Coaching Staffs to Kingsport, Tennessee and Cleveland, Tennessee School Systems.
  • National Faculty Member for the NIAAA Leadership Training Program, 2010 - Present.
  • NIAAA Leadership Training Course Chair for LTC 705 (Character Based Mentoring Coaches).
  • Nashville Black Coaches Association Board Member 1998 - 2008.
  • Tennessee Interscholastic Administrators Association (TIAAA) Board of Directors 2009 - Present.
  • President Elect of TIAAA from 2012-2014, President from 2014 – 2016, & Past President 2016-2018
  • Executive Director of the TIAAA, 2017 – Present.
  • NIAAA Leadership Training Institute Tennessee State Coordinator 2006 - Present.
  • National Football League (NFL) School Liaison for Atlas and Athena Program.
  • Chris Presbyterian Academy Educational Leadership Team Member 2004 - 2021.
  • TSSAA DIIA Middle Region League Commissioner 2017 – 2019.    
  • NFL Endorsed InsideOut Coaching Initiative Leadership Team Member, 2018-Present.


  • TSSAA A.F. Bridges Athletic Director of the Year in 2001-2002 and 2006-2007.
  • NIAAA State Award of Merit (Tennessee) Recipient in 2007.
  • District 9AA Girls Basketball Coach of the Year in 2009.
  • District 10 AA Girls Basketball Coach of the Year in 2010.
  • Williamson County Girls Basketball (All-Classifications) Coach of the Year in 2010.
  • Jim Teff, NIAAA Professional Development National Coordinator Award in September, 2018.
  • Quality Program Assessment (QPA) Program Award, December, 2018.
  • TSSAA Distinguished Service Award, 2020
  • NIAAA Frank Kovaleski Professional Development National Award Recipient, 2020.


  • Assisted in raising nearly $3 million dollars for athletic fields and projects at CPA.
  • Assisted in design of athletic facility development: Stadium, Gymnasium, Baseball Field, Softball Field, Football Practice Field, Soccer Field, Track, and Field House Weight Room Expansion.
  • Senior Class Sponsor, Student Advisory Leader, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Sponsor.
  • Attended every Tennessee State Athletic Director Conference but one since 1992.
  • National Athletic Directors Conference Attendance in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021.
  • Guest LTI Instructor for the Kentucky Athletic Directors State Conference in 2016, 2018 (Also gave the Keynote Address), & 2021.
  • Guest LTI Instructor for the Oklahoma State Athletic Director Conference in 2019.
  • Guest presenter for the Missouri Weekly Athletic Administrators Workshop, 2020. 
  • Contributing Author for the NIAAA Professional Development Course, LTC 706, and Original Co-Author for the NIAAA Professional Development Partnering with Parents Course, LTC 716.
  • NIAAA Mentor Committee Chair, 2020-present.
  • Selected as one of 15 Athletic Directors Nationally to participate in the Executive Leadership Cohort through the NIAAA beginning in December, 2018.  Served as a Mentor Leader for a Leadership Cohort in 2020, and helped create the curriculum (and am a mentor) for the Mentor Cohort, 2021.
  • Have been featured on multiple podcasts including: Educational AD Podcast, Beyond The Bench, Better Way Athletics, Athletics For Life, and Globetrottin AD’s.
  • Workshop Presenter 2019-2021 at the Annual Athletic Directors SAIS (Southern Association of Independent Schools) Conference.
  • Selected by World Strides (as one of 15 Athletic Directors) to attend an international sports trip outing to London, England.


  • Married to Mary Ellson since August 3, 1984.  Children: Michael, Marshall, and Molly. Grandchildren: Joshua and Thomas