OHSAA to Induct 14 New Members into Officials Hall of Fame


OHSAA’s Officials Hall of Fame

The Ohio High School Athletic Association will welcome 14 officials to
the OHSAA’s Officials Hall of Fame during its Hall of Fame Enshrinement
and Banquet Saturday, June 19 at Huntington Park in Columbus. It is the
22nd class to be recognized.


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association will welcome 14 officials to the OHSAA’s Officials Hall of Fame during its Hall of Fame Enshrinement and Banquet Saturday, June 19 at Huntington Park in Columbus. It is the 22nd class to be recognized for its outstanding accomplishments and service as officials in a variety of interscholastic sports across the state of Ohio.

OHSAA Assistant Commissioner Henry Zaborniak, who oversees the nearly 16,500 officials across the state, said the hall of fame is the reflection of the greatness of our officials who service the OHSAA, their community and the student-athletes.

“Officials help teach appropriate values to our participants,” Zaborniak said. “The OHSAA believes that recognition of officials’ accomplishments helps create enthusiasm in the officiating community and the hall of fame is the highest level of recognition.”

A total of 285 local officials organizations are responsible for the nomination of officials to their district officiating boards, which is based on officiating and overall contribution to high school athletics. Recommendations from the district boards are then sent to the hall of fame committee, which ultimately chooses the 2010 class of 14 inductees.

The dinner and ceremony will also honor those who have contributed 50 or more years of officiating for the OHSAA, 25-plus years of service and those chosen by the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) to be recognized as the Ohio Official of the Year in each sport.

Name, City, Sports Officiated

Linda Cairney, Columbus – Softball, Volleyball

Andrew Cross, Wheeling – Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball

Richard Jago, McConnelsville – Basketball

Clair Muscaro, Gahanna – Basketball

Richard Nowak, Holland – Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Lacrosse

Samuel Radel, Gibsonburg – Basketball

Ronald Reed, Mogadore – Baseball, Volleyball, Basketball, Football

Buehl Roach, Hamilton – Football, Basketball, Track and Field

Michael Sharkey, Cincinnati – Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Football, Softball

Gary Switzer, Loveland – Basketball, Football

John Tipton, Oak Hill – Basketball

Bruce Varner, Heath – Softball, Football, Basketball

Keith Walker, Cuyahoga Falls – Basketball

Charles West, Cridersville – Football, Baseball, Softball, Basketball


Linda Cairney, (Columbus) – Linda Cairney is being inducted for her outstanding officiating contributions over a 31-year career in volleyball and softball. She was nominated by the Hub of Ohio Softball Association, where she has served as interpreter, lead camp clinician and president. Cairney was also recognized for her umpire training skills and was inducted into the Ohio Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame and the ASA National Indicator Fraternity. In addition to hundreds of sectional, district and regional officiating assignments, Linda umpired 10 OHSAA State Fast-pitch Tournaments.

Andrew Cross, (Wheeling, West Virginia) – Andrew Cross began his officiating career for the OHSAA 31 years ago. During his 31-year baseball career he umpired 20 OHSAA regional and 11 state tournaments. He worked eight Mizuno All-Ohio series and the WVHSAA State Tournament 12 times. Cross also officiated 19 OHSAA boys and girls basketball regional tournaments and three girls state tournaments. He began officiating volleyball within the past eight years and has been awarded several post-season assignments. In addition, Cross has served as his association’s interpreter, secretary and president.

Richard Jago, (McConnelsville) – Richard Duane Jago has enjoyed an officiating career spanning 32 years. He worked in 23 OHSAA Regional Tournaments and nine state basketball tournaments. He has also officiated boys and girls state tournaments at both “The Schott” and St. Johns Arena. Jago served on the East District Officials Committee for three years and assisted in the instruction and development of new officials for several years. He is a member of the Muskingum Valley Officials Association.

Clair Muscaro, (Gahanna) – Clair Muscaro was a basketball official for 20 years at both the high school and collegiate level. He officiated numerous post-season basketball contests including a boys and girls state tournament. Clair is most remembered for his 14-year tenure as the OHSAA Commissioner. During his tenure the officiating program became a national model for its training and education of officials; the number of officials grew from 10,000 to 15,000 at the time of his 2004 retirement. During his time as Commissioner the OHSAA successfully implemented three-person basketball officiating crews and it also sponsored a number of officiating camps and clinics. In addition, The Certified Officials Assigner program was initiated during his commissionership. Muscaro has received numerous awards including induction in several halls of fame: Ohio High School Basketball Coaches; Ohio Tennis Coaches; Ravenna High School; and the NFHS High School Hall of Fame.

Richard L. Nowak, (Holland) – Richard Nowak’s officiating career spanned 35 years and included the 15 years he worked at the collegiate level. He served 30 years as an official in basketball for northwest Ohio, 10 years for volleyball and refereed lacrosse for 12 years. Nowak was selected to work OHSAA post-season assignments in all sports. During his collegiate football career he worked the Stagg, Peach, Las Vegas and Motor City bowls and his later years as an active official he was asked to head the football officiating assigning chores for the Toledo City League and the Toledo Area Conference. He continued his assigning duties well after he retired from his on-field officiating. Nowak was a member of the Northwest District Football Officials Association and served as an officer for that organization.

Samuel Radel, (Gibsonburg) – Samuel M. Radel coached three sports during a 30-year basketball officiating career. A resident of Gibsonburg, Radel officiated throughout northwest and north central Ohio. During three decades of basketball officiating he was assigned to 20 regional games and 10 state tournament series. Radel was selected as the NFHS Ohio basketball official of the year in 1991 and in 2000. He is a member of the Wood County Basketball Officials Association where he has assisted in weekly rules and mechanics training and assisted in teaching classes for prospective officials.

Ron Reed, (Mogadore) – Ronald Reed of Mogadore has been an OHSAA umpire since 1967 and is a member of the Summit Umpires Association, where he has held the position of rules interpreter and training class instructor since 1970. Reed has also served as board member, vice-president and president of the SUA. He devoted 28 years as a football official and 20 years as a basketball official. Reed has umpired more than 1,100 OHSAA games including assignments in over 75 districts, 37 regionals and 23 state tournament baseball games. He was selected as the 2002 NFHS Ohio baseball umpire of the year and was inducted into the Summit Umpires Association Hall of Fame that same year.

Buehl Roach, (Hamilton) – Buehl Roach devoted much of his life to officiating in several sports. He began officiating basketball in 1954, football in 1959 and track and field in 1969. He retired from track and field in 1976 and from basketball and football in 1986. During his tenure as a basketball official he worked many tournament assignments including the hotly contested 1975 OHSAA State Tournament game, where Cleveland Heights defeated Canton McKinley 55-53. Roach was also assigned to OHSAA state football semifinal games in 1975, 1979 and 1980. During the 1976 and 1977 seasons he also officiated a state championship football game. Buehl Roach was known for his toughness and keen sense of humor.

Michael Sharkey, (Cincinnati) – Michael “Mick” Sharkey officiated baseball, basketball, football, soccer, baseball, volleyball and softball. He was a member of the OHSAA officiating corps from 1974 until his untimely death in 2008. His work in baseball was rewarded with 28 years as a tournament official and four state tournament assignments. He received numerous post-season assignments, including action in state games for football. While officiating basketball, Sharkey received 27 years of tournament assignments and was recognized by the Ohio Valley Basketball Officials Association for his work on and off the court. Sharkey’s greatest officiating accomplishments came in baseball: OHSAA tournaments; three seasons at the professional level; 30 years as an NCAA Division 1 umpire; NCAA Division III National Championship. He served as an officer and president of the Queen City and Blue Chip Umpire Associations.

Gary Switzer, (Loveland) – Gary E. Switzer began his officiating career in 1970. He refereed sectional and district basketball tournament games for a total of 33 years. He was an official in a total of 33 boys and girls regional tournament games and made three state tournament appearances. From 1980 through 2009 Switzer earned assignments in the OHSAA football playoffs a total of 18 times, working the state semifinals on three occasions. He is a member of the Ohio Valley Greater Cincinnati and Southern Ohio Officials Associations.

John Tipton, (Oak Hill) – John Tipton has worked at both the high school and collegiate levels for the past 38 years. Tipton officiated 15 OHSAA State Basketball Tournaments and two NCAA Division III National Championships. He also worked 10 seasons in the Mid-American conference, which twice sent him to the Big Island Tournament in Hawaii. He continues to assist in the development of aspiring officials at numerous camps and clinics including the OHSAA/OABO basketball officiating camp. Tipton was a long time member of the Portsmouth and Jackson Basketball Officials Associations. He is a retired educator, continues to coach high school baseball and is a member of the Ohio High School baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Bruce Varner, (Heath) – Bruce Varner accumulated 72 years of OHSAA officiating experience in football, basketball and fast-pitch softball. He has officiated hundreds of OHSAA post-season assignments and has appeared in each state tournament in the sports he works. He has three girls and two boys state basketball appearance and has also worked three state softball tournaments. Varner was nominated for the Hall of Fame by the Licking County Football Officials Association.

Keith Walker, (Cuyahoga Falls) – In 36 years of basketball officiating, Keith Walker has officiated well over 1600 basketball games including sectional and district games for 31 of those years. Keith refereed five girls and nine boys state basketball tournaments. For the past 23 years, Walker has served as the Greater Akron Basketball Association rules interpreter and he also served a term as its president. Walker assisted the OHSAA as it developed its basketball training curriculum from 1993-1999 and currently serves as the Commissioner of the Suburban League.

Charles West, (Cridersville) – Charles David West has been an OHSAA official since 1974 and during that time he has officiated football, basketball, baseball and fast-pitch softball. He has umpired a number of regional baseball tournament games, as well as a state baseball tournament and has been selected to work numerous post-season football games, including an OHSAA championship. West has served as an officer of the Western Ohio officials Association. He has been a member of the Lima Perry Board of education for 21 years.

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