OFFICIALS HALL OF HONOR
When it comes to officiating soccer in Utah, few if any can match the career of Orley Bills. The Sandy resident has influenced the sport at many levels. His works includes being a soccer referee since 1979 and the state referee administrator including work as an instructor and as a referee assessor. He has worked with the Utah High School Activities Association, Utah Youth Soccer Association, the Special Olympics, and as a professional soccer referee. Bills is a member of the Utah Soccer Hall of Fame and was the UHSAA official of the year. He also hosted the USYSA Region IV soccer tournament as well as the Utah Amateur Soccer Association Region IV tournament. Bills was a graduate of Hillcrest High School and attended the University of Utah and LDS Business College.
Gerard Collet probably didn’t have an inkling where watching his daughter running track and field in 1979 would take him. As he sat in the stands, he got the idea that he would like to be a starter at track meets. After 44 years of being a starter for youth, high school, college, international, able body, paralympics, Special Olympics, blind, and cerebral palsy meets, Collet is as passionate as ever. “I am still as excited today as I was when I got started,” he said. “To me, the five-year-old is just as important as an Olympic gold medalist.” Since moving to Utah in 2006, Gerard has become a common site at track meets. His efforts have earned him recognition from the Pacific Association, the NFHS Officials Association, and the National Track and Field Officials Committee. He was named the cross country official of the year in 2010 and the Track and Field Official of the year in 2013 by the NFHS. He and his wife Pauline live in South Jordan.
Kent Condie was a familiar figure to a generation of high school and college athletes. His long career began in 1978 when he worked high school games starting in1980 in Idaho. Condie then moved to Utah where he continued to work high school football and basketball for another 30 years. He officiated 20 state championship football games and 20 state basketball title contests. His college official career allowed him to work as an NCAA Division I basketball official for more than two decades, officiating games all over the country. Highlights includes six Rotary Bowl games, three Top of the Mountain Bowl games, one NCAA championship quarterfinal game and two junior college national championships. Kent also worked indoor professional football. After he retired, he worked little league football and basketball, mentoring up and coming officials. He is a member of the Utah College Football Officials Association Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Utah chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He graduated from BYU.
If you watched Utah high school basketball, volleyball or softball over the years, chances are you saw Cristy Crane officiate. She worked volleyball, basketball and softball games at the high school and college level for 27 years. The pioneering coach was one of the first women to work boys high school varsity games at the 5A level. She officiated five state volleyball championships, six state basketball title games and two state title softball tournaments. She served as co-president of the Salt Lake Volleyball Association for six years and was president of Red Rock Volleyball for two years. Crane, who now lives in Cedar City, was the Basketball Rookie Official of the Year for the 1988-89 season.
While Teri Jackson was a fine college and high school referee, she made her mark as a volleyball official. The Logan resident was a Utah high school volleyball official for 35 years and spent 33 seasons officiating Mountain West, Western Athletic Conference and Big Sky Conference volleyball matches. The Murray native also served as a volleyball official for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Big West Conference, the WCC and the SWAC.
Indianapolis native Cheryl Jameson served as a certified U.S. Tennis umpire for college, high school and community tennis events. She was the chief umpire for the Utah Tennis Umpires Association and was a member of the USTA grievance committee. She was a referee for the national adult tennis championships and umpired several college conference tennis championships. She was a familiar figure at state high school and regional tennis tournaments. In April of 2021, the Ogden resident received the USTA Intermountain Section Glass Ball award for increasing the quality of tennis officiating.
South Jordan resident and caterer Blake Jensen earned a reputation as one of Utah’s finest baseball umpires and basketball officials. His 27-year career as an prep umpire saw him work seven state championships. He officiated basketball for 25 years and that included officiating four state championships. His career also saw him work as a baseball official for the Pac 12, WAC, Big West and the Mountain West Athletic Conference. The Hillcrest High School and BYU graduate was the 2008 Utah Baseball Official of the Year. “My career highlights are creating numerous relationships with fellow officials and administrative personnel,” he wrote. He and his wife Lori are parents to four children. He owns Blake’s Gourmet, a catering business and food truck.
Few people have enjoyed the long officiating career that Salt Lake resident Richard Jones has compiled. His career included 48 years as a football referee, 12 years as a basketball official, and five years as a soccer referee. And that was just in high school, where he officiated 21 state football title games and nine state basketball championship games .Jones also officiated college basketball, football and baseball. His resume is filled with honors. These include a service award from the Carbon County Board of Education, an official of the year honor from UHSAA, the Joe Busico Award and the NFHS Officials Association’s football official of the year. Jones was president and arbiter of the Southeastern Utah officials Association, taught officiating classes at the College of Eastern Utah, served two terms as the Utah High School Football Officials President and served on the high school football and basketball board for a combined 16 years.
Killips, who works for the Murray Parks and Recreation Department, spent 50 years as an official. His career saw him work high school basketball and football games, junior college basketball, Division I basketball, NAIA Division II basketball, NBA D League, CBA and NBA games. His long career saw him work six basketball championships, one football title game, seven junior college championships, two NAIA championships, CBA playoff games and finals, and Division I basketball. He was also active with Ute Conference Football. Killips was named Utah high school basketball official of the year for three years, worked a CBA all-star game and was honored by the National High School Football Foundation as a member of its hall of fame in 2022.
Bob Krommenhoek, a native of the Netherlands who attended UCLA and BYU, officiated football for 49 years, basketball for 44 years, baseball for 30 years and softball for 15 years. That career saw him officiate scores of state championship games over the years. Krommenhoek received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award in football in 2006 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in basketball in 2017, a high honor since those awards were selected by fellow officials. Self-employed, he is married to Victoria and is the father of nine children.
As long as he can remember, football has been part of Eddie Lewis’ life. The fascination with the sport started when he played little league at the age of eight in California. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Utah and played professional football in Canada and Italy. When his playing days were over, some of his former Ute teammates encouraged him to try his hand at officiating. He soon gained a reputation as a fine official. He officiated in eight state champion games including three 5A games, one 4A contest and one 2A state title battle. He now lives in South Jordan with his spouse Jamie and works as a sales representative for the Hershey Chocolate Company.
If you watched Utah high school football, basketball or baseball the last 50 years, there’s a good chance Phil Leonard officiated one of those games. In addition to officiating games, he also served as the arbiter for the Davis County School District for 39 years and as the assistant Utah High School Activities Association arbiter for baseball for 20 years. Leonard was named the outstanding Utah high school official five times and was the Outstanding Official of the Year in 1994 and 95. He received national awards as the baseball official of the year twice and was the Utah High School Umpire of the Year in 2007. He won numerous national and state awards. When he wasn’t officiating, Leonard was a member of the Davis County Sheriff office where he served as a patrolman, detectives sergeant, lieutenant and captain. Leonard, a father of seven, resides with his wife Linda. The Weber State graduate is currently working as the chase driver for Road Runner Auto.
Long time Utah basketball referee Jon O’Dell has officiated many of the state’s biggest events. These included two 4A championship games and two 2A title contests. The Davis High and Weber State graduate served as a basketball official for the UHSAA for 14 years. He also was a junior college and NAIA basketball official. O’Dell is a member of the Weber State Athletics Hall of Fame. He played basketball, baseball, tennis and ran track for the Wildcats and also played professional baseball. A retired pharmaceutical executive, O’Dell is a member of the Pharmaceutical Hall of Fame. He currently lives in Bountiful.
Potts got his start officiating when he took a Snow College Class called Sports Officiating taught by Dan Slaugh. When he officiated his first game at Wayne County High, Slaugh was his partner. Potts became a regular official at that point, working basketball and baseball games. He began officiating football in 1983, finally retiring in 2017. Potts also served as a college umpire for both the Scenic West Athletic Conference and the Western Athletic Conference as well as a junior college and NAIA basketball referee. The recipient of the Utah High School Activities 2006 Male Official of the year officiated in 33 UHSAA state baseball championships, 19 basketball tournaments and 14 state football events.
Holladay resident Brian Shelley became the youngest official to be assigned to work the 5A state high school boys championship in 2000. He officiated multiple Division I post season conference basketball tournaments in the Big Sky, Mountain West and WAC. Shelley was assigned to work in the men’s NIT tournament and served as a replacement NBA referee during the 2009 lockout. His career as an official spans 25 years. But his work did not end there. He has been involved in evaluating, mentoring and teaching hundreds of officials during his career. He helped develop technology training tools to improve officials skills. Shelley currently serves as a leadership team member with the Western Basketball Officials Consortium where he helps with pre-season training, recruiting, game grading, and rule interpretation.
Murray resident Chris Singer enjoyed a long career as a top Utah high school and college basketball referee. The graduate of San Juan High School attended SUU and the University of Utah and did his post graduate studies at the University of Utah. The nurse practitioner worked seven boys’ state title games as well as the 1996 girls’ championship. His career also saw him work for the Mid Continent Conference, the Big West, the Big Sky, the WAC, the Pac West, the SWAC and the NAIA. He officiated numerous regional tournaments for those organizations.
After finishing a fine career as a high school athlete at Highland and graduating from the University of Utah, Sowby became a familiar face to Utah high school basketball fans. He worked 20 years as a referee in Utah High School State Tournaments. During that span, he was assigned to seven state championship games. He was a high school official for over 25 years. His work also included 10 years as a junior college official and 10 years as a Division I women’s official. Asked about special honors and achievements, Sowby said he would like to be known as a great friend and a good husband and father.
Few baseball umpires can match Mike Andrews’ 40-plus-year career behind the plate and on the base paths. The passionate Andrews, who passed away in 2014, umpired a record 57 tournament championship high school games. He was the first Utah umpire to work the Junior College World Series. One colleague said Andrews’ greatest contribution to the game was his effort to instill sportsmanship with players and coaches. Andrews, who started as a little league umpire in the early 1970s, worked Babe Ruth, American Legion, Utah high school, junior college and NCAA games as well as two Pacific Coast League games. The 2010 Utah Umpire of the Year also served as an arbiter, scheduling umpires in Utah for many years.
Florida native Clint Barnes served as a basketball official for 45 years. He began in Florida, moved on to California and finished in Utah. Barnes’ prep career in Utah included the 2002 boys state title game, the 2004 4A girls title contest and the 2006 5A boys championship battle. Barnes was named a Utah Official of the Year. In addition to his duties as a prep official, he spent 25 years in the junior college, NAIA and Division II college ranks. Now semi-retired, the sales and sales management specialist is married to Sheryl and lives in Heber City. They are the parents of four sons and two daughters.
Players who participated in varsity baseball from the mid-1990s until 2006 undoubtedly ran into veteran umpire Mike Bringhurst. The longtime Hurricane resident played a big role in Class 1A fall baseball, as well as working spring tournaments in the larger classifications. The Dixie High and BYU graduate, who works in the insurance business, umpired varsity baseball for 15 years. He participated in the playoffs for more than a dozen years, working state championship games in Class 1A, 2A and 3A. Bringhurst served as an arbiter for 1A and 3A scheduling for four years. He and wife, Charlotte, are parents of four children.
Being an official in rural parts of Utah can be difficult on many levels, not the least of which is the travel. Joe Fieldsted spent 30 years being based in the Uintah Basin. The American Fork native, who now resides in Pahrump, Nevada, officiated high school football and basketball in Utah for 30 years and baseball for 10 years. He also officiated basketball in the Scenic West, RMAC and Wyoming Region and was a Scenic West baseball umpire. Career highlights included being the Utah boys basketball official of the year in 2004 and working the state basketball final games in five classifications. His most memorable games were a four-overtime semifinal contest between Lone Peak and Timpview and the 3A boys basketball final before 8,000 fans between Dixie and Pine View.
Morgan High and Utah State University graduate Jack Hannum earns the distinction of being the first rodeo official inducted into the Utah Officials Hall of Honor. The former football coach at Union and Clearfield High Schools began his pro rodeo career with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1977. He qualified for the national finals five times, first as a tie-down roper and then as a steer wrestler. Hannum served in rodeo administration starting in 1981. That started him on a career of more than 25 years with the PRCA as an administrator, circuit coordinator and Chief of Officials. “He gave up teaching and coaching so he could dedicate his life to rodeo and take a job at the PRCA because it meant so much to him,” said son Olin. “He always wanted to influence things for the best and make rodeo better.” Hannum’s work earned him induction into the PRCA Hall of Fame in 2015 for service to rodeo. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 70, just hours after his wife, Lynn, had died.
The Weber High, University of Utah and Utah State University alumnus was a familiar figure at state high school wrestling tournaments for a generation. The affable educator worked 23 state wrestling tournaments and finals during a long and impressive career. A longtime educator at Kearns High, Kawa was a favorite of coaches and athletic directors. Much of that admiration was due to his obvious concern and affinity for prep athletes. He was a familiar figure on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley during his distinguished career.
Gerald “Gerry” Leonard
To say that Gerry Leonard loved officiating would be an understatement. He umpired baseball from 1970 to 2015 in youth leagues, high schools, American Legion, NCAA Division I and the professional Pioneer League. He also refereed prep basketball for eight years. Leonard said the highlights of his long career were the lasting relationships he established with crews, coaches, players and school administrators. His efforts earned him the Jim Gilbert Award as outstanding collegiate baseball umpire in 2004. A highlight of his career was working a Minnesota Twins-Salt Lake Buzz exhibition game as well as numerous 4A and 5A championship games and an American Legion regional series. The South High and Arizona State graduate is a father of two sons. He is retired and does volunteer work for Salt Lake County.
One of the biggest honors a high school official can receive is being asked to officiate a state title game. Lindsey, a Bountiful High and University of Utah graduate, worked 15 state title games in football and 10 more in basketball. He worked in Utah state tournaments every year from 1980 until he retired. The father of four, who is married to Maureen, was named the 2011 National Football Foundation Utah Chapter recipient for his contribution to high school football. He also umpired prep baseball games.
Now the BYU baseball coach, Mike Littlewood worked as a high school football, baseball and basketball official from 1991 to 1996. He officiated two football state title games. The Taylorsville native also worked junior college basketball and football games from 1994 to 1997. His more extensive officiating career came in major college basketball in the WAC, MWC, Big 12 and Pac-12. Littlewood was honored to have worked in seven NCAA basketball tournaments. Those efforts included three Sweet 16 games and two in the Elite Eight. His last game in 2012 was in the Sweet 16, as he drew the Louisville-Michigan State game. Littlewood, who graduated from BYU, is married to Dani and has five children.
Miles Kim Nelson
Cody, Wyo., native Kim Nelson has spent a lifetime in high school sports as a teacher, coach, athletic director and official. The alumnus of Viewmont High, BYU and Utah State spent 1985 to 2016 as a high school basketball official, served as a junior college referee and officiated in high school and college football. He worked three state football championship games, three basketball title games and the Hawaii, Music City, Humanitarian and Poinsettia Bowls in college football. The Utah Tip Off Club named him the official of the year in 1999. He was the Utah High School Activities Association male official of the year in 2000 and the Utah County Association official of the year in 2014. He and wife, Leslie, are parents of eight children.
When folks say that “he wrote the book” on officiating, they could be talking about Idaho native Karl Rich. The coordinator of football officials for the Big Sky Conference wrote a book called “Penalty Enforcements Made Easy.” That was one of the Salt Lake City resident’s many officiating credentials. He has officiated games in the Big 12, Mountain West, and Big Sky. Since 2012, he has been a director of the Stars and Stripes Academy for College Football Officials. Richins, who began his career as a high school referee, has officiated in the Capitol One, Outback, Cotton and Houston Bowls as well as the 1999 Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. Richins retired as a federal probation officer.
Though known primarily as a prep football and basketball official, the East Carbon High, University of Utah and BYU graduate remembers one Big Sky game in particularly. It was the Montana-Montana State football game at Missoula, where the packed stadium crowd produced deafening noise. Sanich officiated basketball for 18 years and football for 19 in addition to junior college and college officiating. The high school and math teacher began refereeing in 1980 for basketball games. He was honored to work three state championship football games, four Rotary Bowls and the 2002 Junior College National Championship Game. He and his wife, Debbie, enjoy boating, hiking and restoring old trucks.
Chris Hansen Brown
Marie Green Halpin
Ken Shulsen, Sr.
Dick Ball, Sr.