High profile NCAA football referee Steve Shaw has worked his last game on the field. The Rose Bowl last week was the last time college football fans could see a game called by the man many often refer to as the best referee in the NCAA, and certainly in the SEC.
The NCAA announced yesterday, January 4, that national coordinator of College Football Officiating, Dave Parry, is retiring. Rogers Redding, the SEC’s coordinator of officials since 2006, will fill the vacancy. Shaw, a Birmingham resident (pictured at right) and graduate of the University of Alabama will replace Redding.
Since 1995, football fans in the SEC have often given a collective sigh of relief when they see Shaw and his crew take the field. He’s called eight BCS bowl games and numerous “big” games in the Southeastern Conference. The BellSouth manager will now be working with all the SEC officials rather than just his seven-man crew. He has also served as president of the SEC Football Officials Association. Last year, he was interviewed by Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News.
Parry is retiring due to health concerns after having been in his position for 15 years. He’s enthusiastic about his successor, saying, “Rogers will be great. He’s the (NCAA) rules editor. He’s very knowledgeable. Great track record. Outstanding referee himself. He’s highly respected and regarded by people in the officiating business. I’m very happy and proud that he’s going to be the guy replacing me.”
Parry was interested in organizing regional officiating crews and eliminating conference-specific crews in an effort to bolster neutrality. While not dismissing the idea completely, Redding said that it is “on the back burner.”
These appointments begin February 1, 2011.
Photo credit: http://www.al.com (via Google Images)