Susan Hlavacek joined the NSGA team full time in October of 2013. She currently manages the Events and Programs for the entire organization. This includes the competitions/sports of NSGA’s signature event the National Senior Games.
Her career began with the NSGA as the Director of Sports for the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana in Cleveland, where she worked directly with the local organizing committee (LOC) managing sports and competition staff. The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, which served as the LOC backbone, had enjoyed her services in 2007 as part of the Cleveland organizing committee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four Championship.
Prior to this, Sue was the Director of Athletics for 15 years at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. During those years, the College began admitting men, and the number of athletic teams grew from four to 23. Hlavacek has directed efforts to engage in community partnerships, and student-athletes have thrived in an environment where service and a valuable education merge with intercollegiate competition in exemplifying the College’s mission. Additionally, Notre Dame became a consistent force on the field. Hlavacek’s tenure included two NAIA national wrestling championships and two National Duels Championships, and among various sports, nine conference championships and ten division titles. In 2008, Hlavacek shepherded Notre Dame College’s athletics programs into a new phase of its existence. By 2009, the College had an application with NCAA Division II approved and now in year three provisional status of the membership process.
Her leadership was recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), which named her Administrator of the Year in 2003 and again in 2010. She was also honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as a General Sports TURF Systems AD of the Year (ADOY) in 2004 and in 2010.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a skilled athlete throughout her school years, she was inducted into the James Rhodes High School Hall of Fame in 2003. As a graduate of Cleveland State University, she lettered in each of her four years in both basketball and volleyball and was named Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year three separate years. A First Team All-Ohio basketball and volleyball selection, Hlavacek was voted Most Valuable Player in basketball each of her four years with the Vikings. In 1991, she became the first woman to be inducted into CSU’s Hall-of-Fame.
After college, Hlavacek was drafted by the Philadelphia Fox for the Women’s Basketball League (WBL), the first women’s professional basketball league in the United States. After playing in Philadelphia, she returned home to Cleveland where she began her teaching and coaching career with the Mayfield City School District and later at Laurel School. At both schools, Hlavacek coached basketball and volleyball teams to championships and was named Coach of the Year several times.
In 1990, Susan joined the faculty of Laurel School, a private school in Cleveland’s suburbs. Within her seven-year tenure at Laurel as a physical education teacher, she also served as department chair (1993 through 1995) and as director of athletics for grades 7 through 12 (1994 – 1997). Keeping her hand in coaching, Susan was the head volleyball coach during her stint at Laurel. In 1992, she took her team through the sectional and district championships to the regional semi-finals. In 1995, Susan was selected as Volleyball Coach of the Year for District IV.