Hooley resigns as Iditarod executive director

After more than a quarter century as executive director of the Iditarod Trail Committee Stan Hooley has resigned from overseeing the Last Great Race, 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome, the ITC announced Dec. 20.

Before coming to the ITC in 1993, Hooley was the executive director of the amateur Athletic Union of the United States Inc.

“Opportunity and perfect timing don’t always conveniently align, and this transition will be taking place at a less than ideal time,” Hooley said.

That said, Hooley expressed confidence that ITC staff and volunteers will stage another successful race across Alaska to the finish line in Nome.

Where Hooley is heading next is unclear. The ITC said only that he has accepted “an opportunity that will take him out of Alaska for extended periods of time for several years.”

Hooley’s departure comes during times of some uncertainty for the race, whose image has been marred by several incidents involving participating mushers, including dog doping allegations in which champion musher Dallas Seavey was implicated.


Earlier this month the ITC cleared the four-time Iditarod champion of wrongdoing in the scandal that following the 2017 race to Nome, absolving Seavey of any involvement in four of his dogs testing positive for the opioid painkiller tramadol after the race ended in Nome.

Mike Mills, president of the ITC board, said that the ITC met with Seavey multiple times “and there was sufficient evident to show that he had nothing to do with it.”

Seavey’s father, Mitch Seavey, is one of just 53 mushers signed up so far for the 2019 race. The younger Seavey has not, nor have several other top contenders.

Mitch Seavey’s father, Dan Seavey of Seward, is one of the original Iditarod mushers, and several years ago all three generations of Seaveys ran the Iditarod together.

Still, the doping incident and other race rule related issues have caused some contentious feelings among mushers, resulting in a smaller number of challengers to date for the March 2019 challenge.

Chas St. George, ITC’s current chief operating officer, will serve as interim CEO until a successor is found.