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GCSGC Charter Member Don Kile Accepts Pillar Award at AIA Champions Gala

PHOENIX, Ariz. – May 19, 2022 – The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club (GCSGC) is pleased to announce that Don Kile is a recipient of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s (AIA) Pillar Award for serving as a member of the community who continuously demonstrates the value of education-based activities and athletics.

Don will accept the award on May 22 at the AIA Champions Gala at State Farm Stadium, an event that is held annually to honor outstanding achievements of high school seniors, coaches, teachers, administrators and schools throughout Arizona. Don will speak on the importance of building stronger and more vibrant communities by broadening access, eligibility, and enrollment in on-campus, school-sponsored programs.

“In unprecedented times, Mr. Kile has been instrumental in getting several AIA projects off the ground, including the coordination of the AIA’s community advisory board,” said David Hines, AIA Executive Director. “The AIA Pillar Award honors members of the community, like Don, who have contributed to making the association a leader across the country in managing education-based sports activities.” The community advisory board is comprised of ten Arizona business leaders representing various areas of expertise. They convene to provide the AIA with strategic guidance on how to execute an education-based model of high school athletics, and how to be relevant in Arizona’s business communities.

Don’s commitment to advocating for student participation in co-curricular activities is further evidenced by his involvement with GCSGC-initiated programs, including the Ed Doherty Award, the Impact Award, National Tight End Day Project, Gridiron Friday Night, and Teen Lifeline’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Campaign.

“Co-curricular activities such as interscholastic sports, performing arts, and scientific and academic competitions are inherently educational and are a significant component of a healthy, comprehensive schooling system. These programs promote citizenship, fair play, fair dealing, and sportsmanship,” said Kile. “All school-sponsored activities and athletics instill a sense of pride in self, school and community, and result in peer-to-peer teaching, plus learning of lifelong lessons and skills of teamwork, self-discipline and physical and emotional development.”

Don presented the Dr. Voie Stuart Chase Coy Scholar-Athlete Award at the 2020 and 2021 virtual Champions Galas. In 2020, Don was recognized as one of the Top 100 Global Visionaries in Education from the Global Forum on Education and Learning (GFEL). Don is currently serving his 26th year as the director of a private foundation dedicated to enhancing academic advancement rates in public education. Don is a devoted advocate of youth athletics serving on several boards and committees promoting primary and secondary education, amateur athletics, global citizenship, and the innovation and development of a greater social affinity.

The Champions Gala commences at 7 p.m. on May 22nd. Click here to watch the live stream. To learn more about the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club, visit

About Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is the steward of the Ed Doherty Award and is the most meaningful advocate of high school football in the State of Arizona. The mission of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is to represent Arizona amateur athletics by bringing national attention to the extraordinary qualities of our young people and serve in the pursuit of athletic achievement, academic advancement and greater social affinity.

Programs supported through funds generated by the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon include the annual Ed Doherty Award Luncheon are focused on community building programs, ONE TEAM™ Academic Performance Program, heat exertional illness training and emergency protocols, equipment fitting certifications for high school support staff, and many highly specialized programs designed to create and maintain the physical and mental well-being of high school student athletes in Arizona.

About the Arizona Interscholastic Association

The AIA is a voluntary association of public and private Arizona high schools. Since 1913, the organization has created and sustained interscholastic activities that encourage maximum student participation by providing AIA member schools with an even playing field to ensure fair and equitable competition. The AIA believes that providing interscholastic activities for Arizona high school students creates personal development opportunities with a balanced focus on academics and extracurricular activities.

Through its 280 member schools, the AIA reaches more than 300,000 participants in high school activity programs. The organization hosts 4000 championship contests and officiates for more than 45,000 regular-season games. For more information, visit and

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