Friday, November 22, 2019

 

            


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12 Set For Induction in the Inaugural Class of the Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame

       HUNTSVILLE – Twelve major contributors to sports officiating in Alabama have been selected to be inducted into the inaugural Class of the Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame, The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Aug. 24, 2019, at 6 p.m.
     Alabama Sports Officials Foundation spokesman Greg Brewer announced the members of the first class today.
      The 12 inductees are: Paul Andzrejewski, Ronnie Baynes, Ormond Brown, Dick Burleson, Mary Day, Ray Gargus, Walter Garrett, Apple Kridakorn, Joe Manjone, Bob Patrick, Sam Short and Bobby Skelton. The inductees include individuals who have varied officiating backgrounds – from high school to college and professional sports. The individuals have played important roles in training and developing contest officials in Alabama as well as mentoring and raising the level of consistency and professionalism in the state. The selections by a special ASOF Hall of Fame Committee from nominations submitted.
        Most notable in this group are Short, who was inducted into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame in 2007; Manjone, a college president who received the NFHS Citation for Officials in 2018; Baynes and Skelton, two standout college athletes who moved through the ranks of officiating to become two of the top officials in the NFL. Baynes was awarded the NFL’s prestigious Art McNally Award in 2011. Burleson balanced officiating with his military career, where he rose to the rank of Major General, and Garrett, one of the AHSAA’s top basketball officials for three decades, still holds the national prep record for points scored in a high school basketball game (97) when scoring all his team’s points.
     The ASOF was
founded by five current and/or retired Alabama sports officials.  These Board Members are David Bell, Greg Brewer, Burkles Davis, Jeff Hilyer and Robert Lose.  Additional board members include Craig Kelley, Craig Cleveland, Mark Wehrwein and Wanda Weeks.
         Tickets for the Induction ceremony are $50. For more information, contact board chairman Greg Brewer at:
gbrewer201@gmail.com.

 

 

A thumbnail sketch of each inductee:


PAUL ANDZREJEWSKI: Has the rare distinction of having a baseball signed by him on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He struck out 18 in a six-inning game as an 11-year old in 1958. He walked on at the University of Alabama and eventually earned a baseball scholarship. He began officiating high school baseball and basketball in the AHSAA in 1970.
    He also was an original member of the Alabama Collegiate Umpires Association.
    He has worked in the SEC, Sun Belt, Trans American, Great Midwest, Southwest, Mid Continent, Gulf South, Southern States and Alabama JUCU Conference in both baseball and basketball. He is also an original member of the umpire staff for SEC women’s softball.
    Andzrejewski has served in numerous basketball officials’ camps including directing the ABC Basketball Officials Camp at Troy University.
    He was selected by USA Basketball to officiate the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1991 in Los Angeles, umpired an exhibition game for the New York Yankees in 1994, worked a Kentucky-Indiana basketball game in 1989 attended by more than 40,000 fans, and also worked a Kentucky at North Carolina basketball game.
    He is also remembered for officiating Troy University’s 1992 basketball game versus DeVry College that set the NCAA scoring record (258-141).
   He was inducted into the John F. Kennedy High School (NY) Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991. He is currently working as an official observer.
    
RONNIE BAYNES: One of the most respected coaches and football officials in AHSAA history, the outstanding high school baseball and football coach rose through the ranks to become Supervisor of NFL Officials from 2001-2008.  The Talladega High School alumnus was an outstanding high school athlete who turned down a professional baseball offer to attend Auburn University – becoming one of the last four-sport lettermen in AU history (football, baseball, track and basketball). After completing his college eligibility, the All-SEC defensive end played in the 1965 Blue-Gray All-Star Game, then signed with the Dallas Cowboys before a knee injury ended his playing career. He began officiating at the high school level in 1971, then moved to the Southeastern Conference from 1974-1987.
    He advanced to the NFL ranks in 1987 and was an on-field official for 14 years (1987-2001) before moving to Supervisor of Officials. After stepping down from that administrative position, he became Director of Scouting for the NFL until his retirement in 2015. His retirement has been short-lived. He currently serves as an SEC and Conference USA evaluator and trainer and is currently serving as Alliance of American Football Supervisor and Trainer.
    Baynes officiated seven bowl games during his on-the-field career, including the National Championship Game featuring Oklahoma and Washington held at the Orange Bowl. He also officiated two Super Bowls, five NFC-AFC championship games.  He has been inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. One honor he especially treasures is the Art McNally Award, presented to Baynes in 2011. The highest honor an NFL official can attain, The Art McNally Award was created in 2002 by the NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and given annually to an NFL game official who exhibits exemplary professionalism, leadership and commitment to sportsmanship, on and off the field. This award is presented at the Pro Bowl each year.
    Baynes coached five teams to AHSAA state baseball titles and took 16 teams to the state playoffs and coached Central Alabama Community College to a third-place finish at the JUCO World Series at Grand Junction (CO).

ORMOND BROWN: He has been a high school football and basketball official in the AHSAA for 41 years, working 30 state basketball tournament finals and five all-star games. He also spent 32 years as a college basketball official, including 17 years in the SEC. He worked five SEC tournaments and one NIT Tourney. As a JUCO and NAIA official, Brown has officiated three national JUCO tournaments and three NAIA national tourneys. He has also held an international officiating license for 10 years.
    He has been an assignor, president and vice president in his local association and served as a District Director and Camp Instructor for more than a decade. He was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and is an Etowah County Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

DICK BURLESON: One of the early mentors for officiating in the AHSAA, Burleson, who reached the rank of Major General in the U.S. Army Reserve, was a member of the Birmingham Football Officials Association (BFOA) from 1963-1977 where he held many leadership positions. He was selected as a clinic instructor for the first three held by the AHSAA. The J.B. Pennington High School (1957) graduate went to Georgia Tech on a football scholarship and was commissioned as a second Lieutenant coming out of college.   Distinguished Military graduate.
    He commanded more than 40,000 troops in eight states and commanded 5,000 soldiers placed on active duty during Desert Storm. One of his highest personal honors was being presented the Audie Murphy Patriotism Award.
    As a contest official he served in the SEC for 25 seasons, serving as Chief Referee and president of the SEC officials. He officiated 15 major college bowl games and the SEC Championship game. His last game on the field was as the head referee for the National Championship Rose Bowl game. He is now an SEC staff advisor on officiating and evaluates officials’ performance each Saturday from the SEC Command Center.
     He became just the seventh athlete elected to the Blount County Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2000, he became the only official to ever receive the Distinguished Service award from the Birmingham Quarterback Club, and he was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. Burleson is one of the most requested speakers in the U.S. and is a professional member of the National Speakers Association. His book, You Better Be Right, has reached #1 on the Best Sellers list at Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

MARY DAY: She made history in the AHSAA becoming the first female to officiate in a boys’ state tournament game. She has also officiated two NCAA Women’s Final 4 Championship tournaments.
    Active as a volleyball and basketball official, Day has served as state rules interpreter and district director in volleyball and is currently serving as the Supervisor of Women’s Basketball Officials for the Southern Athletic Association, a position she has held for 11 years.
    The AHSAA recognized her with a 25-Year Service Award and she was also named the 2011 Naismith Women’s Basketball Official of the Year.

RAY GARGUS: The veteran high school baseball and football official was a key teacher, leader and much respected mentor for officials over his 34 years in officiating from 1976 until his death in 2010. He served in the AHSAA with the Greater Huntsville Umpires Association and the North Alabama Football Officials Association. He was an active officer in the two Huntsville area associations serving as an assignor, board member, trainer and friend.
    He served as one of the AHSAA camp instructors (1992-1998) and was the first district director for the Northeast District.  Gargus was posthumously inducted into the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

WALTER GARRETT: The lanky basketball standout first drew the attention of the nation when he scored 97 points in the final game of his prep career at Birmingham’s West End High School. The 97 points set a national high school record that still stands. He scored all 97 of his team’s points in the win over Glenn.  After high school, he had a hall-of-fame college basketball career at Birmingham-Southern.
    Garrett was highly regarded as a basketball official in the AHSAA for 30 years – working several regional and state tournaments during his tenure. He was also a college basketball official for 25 years working in the Sun Belt, C-USA, TAAC, Gulf South and Southern States conference. He officiated numerous college tournaments including a NIT Tourney official for two years.
    He was president of the Magic City Basketball Officials Association for eight years, a member of the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee for one year and has served as an AHSAA District Director for 12 years. He  has also been a C-USA observer for four years.
   The AHSAA honored Garrett with its Distinguished Service Award. He also received the Governor’s State of Alabama Physical Fitness Award, was inducted into the Birmingham-Southern College Hall of Fame and the BASA Softball Hall of Fame.  He is a member of the National Association of Sports Officials.

APPLE KIRDAKORN: Has 48 years of service as a volleyball official at the high school and  college level. She has been the Central Alabama Volleyball Officials assigner since 1987 and has also served as past president, vice-president and treasurer. She is also the assigner for the Alabama Board of Officials (college) and is the organization’s current treasurer. She has been the NFHS Rules Interpreter for the AHSAA for 15 years, has been a state tournament referee coordinator for 15 years and a state camp instructor/coordinator for nine years.
   She received the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award (2004); the NFHS Section III Distinguished Active Official Award (2007); the PAVO Excellence in Service Award (2011); was named South Central District Volleyball Official of the Year by the AHSAA (2013); was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame (2016); and the University of Montevallo Sports Hall of Fame (2019).

JOE MANJONE: Manjone, a native of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, began officiating soccer as a teenager and has been involved in the sport as an official and administrator for more than 50 years.  His influence in the sport has been far reaching – spanning most of the nation and two continents.
          In Alabama, his service stretches over more than 30 years. The AHSAA Soccer Director and former National Federation of State High Schools Association (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee Chair has served the AHSAA in numerous soccer roles from officiating to rules interpreter. He has officiated a variety of sports including basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, wrestling, cross country, track and his specialty, soccer. He has worked at the high school and college level calling women’s sports in the SEC, ECAC, SIAC and AIAW.
          Manjone received the NFHS’s prestigious Citation for Officials in 2017, which is presented annually to only one contest official nationwide.  He attended Penn State University, graduating in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree. He later earned additional education degrees from the University of Georgia and Penn State.
    A former college president who serves as rules editor for Referee Magazine, he was inducted into the
NISOA Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2018. He also received the NISOA 1995 Officials Recognition Award; the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award (2010); The NFHS Sports Officials Contributor Award (2012); and in 2017, the Continuing Education Center at Columbia Southern University renamed the facility the Dr. Joseph Manjone Center.

BOB PATRICK: A veteran football official who came up through the high school ranks, Patrick has officiated football in the SEC for 29 years (on the field). Among his milestones have been the Rose Bowl (National Championship Game), Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl (twice), Weed Eater Bowl, Orlando Bowl, Freedom Bowl, Gator Bowl and St. Petersburg Bowl. He also has officiated 11 Senior Bowl all-star contests and has worked as an administrator for the Cotton Bowl, Armed Service Bowl and the Holiday Bowl. He is currently in his 19th year as a college administrator. He has held various administrative positions as a high school official and has also served as a game day observer and replay booth official at the college level.
    In addition to his selection as a bowl official, Patrick has also served as a Chief Specialist for line judges in the SEC.  He is currently a member of NASO, AHSAA and SEC Officials Association.

SAM SHORT: One of the state’s most respected teachers of officiating, the Birmingham native  has been the expert in football and basketball rules for the AHSAA for more than 50 years. He was involved in basketball officiating for 53 years and football officiating for 38. He was instrumental in developing state camps for officials to gain consistency throughout the state and was Supervisor of Officials and rules coordinator for the AHSAA. Short has served on the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee and was an advisor to the Football Rules Committee for 15 years.
   He was an original board member of the NFHS Coaches Association, and in 1999, received the NFHS Officials Association Contributors Award. Short was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame (NFHS) in 2007 and was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame (AHSAA) in 1993 – as a member of the third class overall.

  
BOBBY SKELTON: Began officiating in Tuscaloosa while attending college, Skelton became a top high school football, basketball and baseball official – later working in Huntsville, East Alabama and Montgomery associations.  He became an SEC football official in 1972. He worked more than eight bowl games including two National Championship Games. In 1985, he began a 20-year tenure as a contest official in the NFL. He worked Super Bowl XXIV and several playoff games including one AFC and two NFC championship games.
    He moved off the field in 2005 and became an NFL replay official. He held that position for six years until he retired in 2011.He also served as a position evaluator for the NFLRA for several years.
     As a high school official he worked top assignments in all three sports including working many of the early playoff games when only four teams were selected per class for the playoffs. He was a member of the NFL Referees’ Association, SEC Officials Association, the AHSAA, NFRA and NASO officials organizations.

 

 




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