Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame to induct inaugural class


ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 03: The referee’s discuss the call in the first quarter during Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Saturday, the Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame will induct its inaugural class of honorees.

Twelve sports officials from high school, college, and professional sports officiating will be honored at the induction ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at the Pelham Civic Complex at 6:00 p.m.

The honorees include:

  • PAUL ANDRZEJEWSKI — Former University of Alabama baseball player known for officiating high school and college baseball and basketball games across Alabama.
  • RONNIE BAYNES — Talladega High School alum who was one of the last four-sport lettermen in Auburn history. After playing for the Dallas Cowboys, he officiated high school, college, and NFL games before becoming the NFL Supervisor of Officials.
  • 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.
  • DICK BURLESON — Major General in the U.S. Army Reserves who served in the SEC for 25 seasons, serving as Chief Referee and president of the SEC officials.
  • MARY DAY — Made history by becoming the first female to officiate in a boys’ state tournament game. She has also officiated two NCAA Women’s Final 4 Championship tournaments.
  • RAY GARGUS — 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.
  • WALTER GARRETT — Currently holds the record for most points scored in a high school basketball game after scoring 97 points in his final game at West End High School. Garrett was highly regarded as a basketball official in the AHSAA for 30 years – working several regional and state tournaments during his tenure.
  • 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
  • JOE MANJONE — AHSAA Soccer Director and former National Federation of State High Schools Association (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee Chair who has served the AHSAA in numerous soccer roles from officiating to rules interpreter.
  • BOB PATRICK — 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.
  • SAM SHORT — 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.
  • BOBBY SKELTON — 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.

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