Special to the Times Vedette

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) has named Panora native Erin Gerlich as its next executive director, succeeding Jean Berger.

Gerlich brings more than 15 years of experience in athletics and servant leadership to her new role, having most recently served as associate director and sport administrator within the IGHSAU. In these positions, she has served as the head of emerging sports and new projects, acted as a liaison for all sports medicine coordination and initiatives, and served as the sport administrator for wrestling and tennis.  She has also led the IGHSAU Student Athletic Advisory Committee the last few years.

Gerlich is credited for her instrumental role in introducing girls wrestling to the state of Iowa. Her dedication and achievements were recognized in 2023 when she was honored with the Charlotte Bailey Award from the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association, as well as the AAU Wrestling Women’s Empowerment Award. She was also the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association President from 2022-2023, being the first female to ever hold this position for the organization.

Gerlich holds a master’s degree in health promotion from Oklahoma State University and previously served as the middle school and high school activities director in the Panorama Community School District.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the next IGHSAU executive director,” Gerlich said. “I am committed to leading the organization toward continued success. In my new position, I look forward to championing the growth and empowerment of female athletes across Iowa.”

Gerlich is a native of Panora and a 2002 graduate of Panorama High School. She currently resides at Lake Panorama with her daughter, Avery.

She will officially assume the role on June 8.