Patrick D. Adams is an NCAA basketball official with 27 years of Division I experience. He currently serves as a men’s basketball official for the following conferences: Southeastern Conference (SEC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big XII Conference, American Athletic Conference (AAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Sunbelt Conference, Conference USA, Colonial, and Atlantic Sun Conference.
Adams is a native of Baton Rouge, La., and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. He later earned his Master of Education from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.
After playing collegiate basketball for two years at the NAIA level, Adams started officiating intramural basketball during his time as a student at Southern University. This inspired him to join the Baton Rouge High School Association and learn the specialized skill of basketball officiating. In 1997, Adams was hired by the Southeastern Conference and has worked numerous conference tournaments, including several conference championship games. In 2000, he officiated his first NCAA tournament. To date, Adams has officiated 19 consecutive NCAA tournaments, 14 regionals and four final fours.
Adams is a member of NASO, Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Official’s Association, Big XII Conference Basketball Official’s Association, former President and current member of the Southeastern Conference Basketball Official’s Association. In addition, he is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and works very closely with “Team Focus” non-profit organization.
Adams lives in Mobile, Ala., with his wife Carvine and daughter Ryleigh.
Illinois High School Association (IHSA) executive director; prior to becoming executive director was an assistant director who oversaw the official’s department, including officials education; former Illinois Athletic Directors Association board of director’s member; National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association member; former IHSA’s Athletic Administrator Committee and Legislative Commission member; former high school athletic director.
Brian Barlow is a motivational speaker and a passionate, highly requested and recommended soccer referee. He is also a father, pilot, golfer, writer and Emmy-award winning tv producer. Making a bold statement is one of the fundamental pillars of impactful marketing, Barlow took his own advice a few years ago and offered $100 for anyone who captured referee abuse and its posted on his “Offside” Facebook page. More than 6000 videos to date have been received and it’s the only grassroots campaign discussing the negative impact fan behavior has on youth sports. Offside has become a critical conversation point and Barlow himself has become one of the leading advocates in promoting a massive upgrade and behavioral change in how adults behave at youth sporting events. Barlow is a collegiate soccer referee with a “Regional” badge, having whistled close to 3000 games, including top games at regionals and nationals. Brian is also the creator of stoprefabuse.com (soon to be innovatecrazy.com), a site aimed at addressing referee abuse through spotlighting abuse from coaches, parents, and other spectators. Through his various platforms, Brian is combating referee abuse through his #STOP initiative, the acronym for ”stop tormenting officials permanently” where he has created field signs and a set of expectations encouraging parents to sit, watch, enjoy and support all young athletes in the name of development, sportsmanship and the love of the game.
Associate Professor of Research at Augusta University; Talent/Color Analyst for South Carolina Softball and the SECNetwork+; mental performance consulting to officials and umpires in Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big12, Big South, Peach Belt and Pac-12 conferences; 17+ international and national publications; 46+ national and international presentations; former D-I softball All-American at University of South Carolina; member of University of South Carolina Hall of Fame; SEC Women’s Legend; SEC Icon Award winner; former National Pro Fastpitch and British National Team member; former D-I softball coach at Florida State, Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss.
Commissioner of the San Francisco Section of the CIF
California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), San Francisco Section commissioner; Member Information and Consultation Program, Referee, NASO and NASO Association Advantage contributor; longtime track and field, and basketball official; longtime lawyer; former NASO board member (2011-14); 2016 Mel Narol Medallion award recipient.
Southeastern Conference Coordinator of Softball Umpires
Coordinator of softball umpires for Southeastern, Atlantic Sun, Sun Belt and Old Dominion Athletic conferences and co-coordinator of the Ohio Valley Conference; umpired NCAA softball for 17 years, including three WCWS; member of the USA Softball of North Carolina Hall of Honor; co-founder of Diamond Umpire Academy.
NCAA National Coordinator of Women’s Basketball Officiating
NCAA National Coordinator of Women’s Basketball Officiating. Davis is a two-time NCAA Women’s Final Four official and her officiating career included stints in the WNBA and D-League. In 2009, she founded Referee School, a well-regarded summer training program for officials. She has served as the director of officials’ development for the Northwest Intercollegiate Basketball Officials Association for the past decade. Davis also established the StripeZone Officiating Web Service in 2000, one of the earliest officiating website services.
Special Advisor Officiating Development /Performance, Southeastern Conference
Delaney is currently Special Advisor for Officiating Development and Performance for the Southeastern Conference. He previously served as NBA Referee Operations Vice President and Director of Officials; prior to becoming vice president, Delaney was a Referee Development Advisor and the Crew Chief Development Advisor within the NBA officiating department; a former NBA official (1987-2011), having officiated more than 1,500 regular season games and 210 playoff games, including nine NBA Finals and the 1998 and 2011 NBA All-Star games. He is an NBA Cares Ambassador and has received the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award; Armed Forces Foundation Leadership Award; President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award; U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal; 2003 Gold Whistle Award; NCAA 2020 President Teddy Roosevelt Award; NASO Board Chair.
Director of Graduate Programs/Associate Professor at Charleston Southern University
Primary research area is recruitment, training, and retaining of sports officials. Author of multiple physical education textbooks. Research studies in physical education and athlete development. Multiple years college baseball and volleyball officiating; National Line Judge; High school baseball and volleyball head rules and mechanics instructor.
NCHSAA Associate Commissioner - Student Services and Supervisor of Officials
North Carolina High School Athletic Association associate commissioner; former associate director of athletics at Appalachian State; 2018 NCHSAA Golden Whistle Award; 2014 NFHS Coach Educator of the Year; 2012 Distinguished Service Award Down East Football Officials Leadership Clinic; 2012 NFHS Outstanding Service Award in High School Officiating; 2004 NCHSAA Distinguished Service Award in Basketball Officiating; NCAA/NFHS National Football Advisory Committee; NFHS Football Equipment Chair; NFHS Football Rules Committee; NFHS Basketball Rules Committee; 30-year NCHSAA basketball referee; 26-year NCAA basketball referee; 12-year NCHSAA baseball umpire; 4-year NCAA baseball umpire; 9-year NCHSAA football official; 13-year Piedmont Officials Association Clinic Leader; 5-time NCHSAA State Basketball Championship official; 14-time NCAA post-season tournament official.
Fox 40 International chief executive officer and founder; chief executive officer and owner of one of North America’s largest trucking logistics companies; current Honorary Colonel of Argyll and Sutherland Army Regiment, appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada; Canadian Entrepreneur of the Decade by Profit magazine; former NCAA D-I and international men’s basketball official; officiated the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal championship basketball game; former NBA Officials Observer, and currently an NBA Replay Coordinator; inducted into several halls of fame; NASO Education Partner; former Officiating Development Alliance member; 2004 Mel Narol Medallion Award recipient; proud charter member of NASO and three-decade sponsor; 2016 NASO Gold Whistle Award recipient; NASO board special adviser. Ron was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2018, by the Governor General of Canada.
Sports law attorney and recognized legal authority for game officials; author of “Sports Officiating: A Legal Guide”; Member Information and Consultation Program (MICP) representative; professional speaker; Referee and NASO writer and contributor; former NCAA D-I basketball official; former college baseball umpire; former high school football official; serves as special counsel to national, state and local officiating associations, insurance carriers, claims administrators and national and regional sports governing bodies; frequent speaker to national and regional conferences, including: American Bar Association; Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey; Atlantic 10 Conference/Patriot League Officiating Developmental Camp; California Basketball Officials Association; Central Pennsylvania Basketball Officials Association; Florida High School Athletic Association Officials’ Conference, International Association of Approved Basketball Officials; Louisiana High School Officials Association Sports Officiating Summit; National Association of Sports Officials Summit; National Intramural Recreational Sports Association; National Police Athletic League; National Sports Concussion Coalition; Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District IV Football Officials Clinic; Texas Association of Sports Officials, U.S. Lacrosse National Convention, and many state high school athletic associations, colleges, universities, and school districts; member of New Jersey, New York and Maryland Bars.
Brenda founded Officially Human LLC to be the vehicle that is the leader in addressing the crisis in officiating by restoring respect to, and positive treatment of, sport officials through increased education and communication to all stakeholders (administrators, coaches and fans) while recruiting and retaining new officials at all levels.
Brenda serves as the Senior Director of Building Services for the Big Ten Conference.
Prior to July 2018, she spent most of the last 20 years working in low-mid-high major collegiate officiating, collaborating most closely with the assignors and the officials at the highest level of Division I men’s basketball. Over the years, Brenda has come to appreciate what officials bring to sporting events and to value their position as leaders on and off the fields and courts.
She brings a vast array of experience to the table and understands the whole process of becoming an official, from the first inquiry to working the way up the ladder to get to the highest level in D-I. Her passion for the treatment, recruitment and retention of officials is well-known around the officiating circuit, and her desire to understand the officiating roles over the years has served the world of officiating well.
Prior to being hired at the Big Ten Conference, Brenda spent 11 years as the Office Manager at the Summit League (formerly the Mid-Continent Conference). While wearing many hats in this smaller conference office, she worked closely with all sport assignors (soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, basketball) to collect schedules, negotiate officiating fees, review game contracts, manage cancelled game reassignments and coordinate the on-boarding of new officials.
Alabama High School Athletic Association Director of Officials
A high school football, basketball, baseball and softball official for over 28 years, Jones currently serves as director of officials for the Alabama High School Athletic Association. He taught an officiating course for 28 years at Jacksonville State University and officiated NCAA women’s college basketball for 8 years (D-I and D-II).
Referee chief strategy officer Referee magazine founder (1975) and publisher; National Association of Sports Officials founder (1980) and president; former 23-year basketball official, who worked nine seasons at the NCAAM D-I level; a renowned public speaker and media guest on issues important to the officiating industry; Officiating Development Alliance (ODA) and Officiating Commentators Alliance (OCA) member.
Minnesota State High School League coordinator of officials; responsible for the overall development and implementation of registration, training and mentorship programs for 6,300 officials serving over 525 member schools; NCAA D-I football official in the Big Ten Conference; NCAAM D-II and D-III basketball official; former physical education and adapted physical education teacher of 10 years.
Dr. Karissa Niehoff has worked in public education and athletics since 1989 as a teacher of physical education, health and Latin; K-12 Wellness/Exercise Science Department Coordinator; coach of multiple varsity sports; athletic director; middle school assistant principal and high school principal. In 2010 she was named Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. In August, 2018 she assumed the position of Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Dr. Niehoff’s work in education and athletics extends beyond the public school realm. She served for four years on the Education Committee of the United States Olympic Committee, acting as U.S. delegate to International Olympic Academies in Greece and Canada and representing the USOC at numerous national conventions, conferences and educational programs. Dr. Niehoff was co-founder and Dean of the “Passing the Torch” Academy For Youth Sport Leadership, a USOC initiative to promote leadership and the spirit of Olympism within the realm of youth sport. In 1996, she was the field hockey program leader at the International Youth Camp during the Atlanta Olympic Games. She was a member of USA Field Hockey’s Board of Ethics for 10 years. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Dr. Niehoff served the NFHS as a member of the NFHS Board of Directors, chair of the NFHS Foundation Board of Directors, chair of the Student Services and Field Hockey committees, and a member of the Strategic Planning and Essentials task forces. She is actively involved in advocacy and policy development for education-based programs and athletics alongside colleagues from multiple stakeholder groups.
Dr. Niehoff earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education from the University of Massachusetts, a Masters in School Health Education from Southern Connecticut State University, a Sixth Year degree in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Connecticut. She has conducted numerous professional development workshops and presentations at the local, regional and national levels in the fields of education, athletics, and leadership. Dr. Niehoff is the first woman selected to lead the NFHS, and among the few women in U.S. history to serve as CEO of a national sport organization.
US Lacrosse Senior Manager of Officials Development
US Lacrosse senior manager, officials development; responsible for the overall development, implementation and management of US Lacrosse’s national initiatives towards recruitment, retention, training and leadership programs for US Lacrosse men’s and women’s officials, serving youth, scholastic, collegiate and international games; current NCAAM lacrosse official; Officiating Development Alliance member.
New Mexico Activities Association, Commissioner of Officials/Deputy Director
Dana Pappas is beginning her 24th year with the New Mexico Activities Association, all of which have been spent working with the New Mexico Officials Association. She served as the assistant to the NMOA from 1997-2004 and was promoted to the position of NMAA/NMOA Commissioner of Officials in 2004. She was promoted again to NMAA Deputy Director in 2012. She was on the Referee Magazine editorial Board from January 2010 to December 2012. The New Mexico Officials Association, under Dana’s direction, served as host of the 2014 NASO Summit in Albuquerque, NM. She has been a moderator and panelist at the NASO Summit on numerous occasions, a repeat presenter at the NFHS Summer Meeting and the keynote speaker for the Alabama State Officials Conference in 2016. She received the NFHS Citation for Officials in June.
Pac-12 Coordinator of Women’s Volleyball Officials
Pac-12 and Mountain West conference coordinator of women’s volleyball officiating; former NCAA national coordinator of volleyball officials; former Professional Association of Volleyball Officials president; team leader for the U.S. women’s national team competing at World Grand Prix and the Olympics in 2008; more than 20 years as a USA Volleyball national official, more than 30 years as a collegiate national official, and in sixth season as a high school official after taking a hiatus; has officiated numerous NCAA semifinal and final matches; former Coronado (Colo.) High School head volleyball coach; former NASO board member (2001-05 and 2011-15); Officiating Development Alliance member.
Greg Sankey became the eighth Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference on June 1, 2015, and immediately embarked on a journey to build upon the SEC’s recognized success, strong foundations and rich traditions.
Sankey first joined the SEC staff in 2002 as Associate Commissioner for Governance, Enforcement and Compliance. He was elevated to Executive Associate Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for the league office in 2012, becoming responsible for the day-to-day operation of the SEC Office.
Prior to joining the SEC staff, Sankey was Commissioner of the Southland Conference for nearly seven years. He joined the Southland Conference staff in 1992 where he served as both assistant and associate commissioner before he was named commissioner in 1996 at the age of 31.
Prior to his term at the Southland Conference, he was Director of Compliance and Academic Services at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. While at Northwestern State, Sankey also coached the Demons’ golf teams for two years, earning the Golf Coaches Association of America District VI Coach of the Year award in 1991. Before his tenure at Northwestern State, he was the Director of Intramural Sports at Utica College in upstate New York.
A native of Auburn, NY, Sankey earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland. Sankey and his wife, Cathy, reside in Birmingham, AL, and have two adult daughters, Hannah and Moriah.
CFO National Coordinator of Officials/Secretary Rules Editor for NCAA Football
CFO National Coordinator of Officials; NCAA Football Secretary Rules Editor since September of 2017; Chair of the CCA National Mechanics Committee since 2011; former Coordinator of Football Officials for the Southeastern Conference (2011 – 2019) and leader of the Sun Belt Conference officiating program (2014 – 2019); former member of Board of Directors for the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), serving as Chairman 2011 – 2012; former 15-year on-field Referee in the SEC and six-year Referee in the Gulf South Conference.
During his on-field years in the SEC, Shaw was selected for 14 Post-Season assignments and was the only Referee in the BCS era to work two BCS National Championship games. Overall, Shaw’s work included eight BCS Bowls and four SEC Championship Games. The two National Championship games were the 2000 Sugar Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Florida State) and the 2005 Orange Bowl (Oklahoma vs. USC). In addition to the four conference championship games, he worked three Rose Bowls, two Fiesta Bowls, two Orange Bowls, a Sugar Bowl, a Gator Bowl and a Sun Bowl.
American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services Inc. President
American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services Inc. (Fort Wayne, Ind.) president, American Specialty has been NASO’s insurance provider since 2004; Drew joined American Specialty in May of 1997 as an account executive; American Specialty is NASO’s 2017 Mel Narol Medallion award recipient.
Brendan Szulik is the co-founder and CEO of Silbo, a digital marketplace connecting qualified sports officials to amateur sports games. He resides in North Carolina, where he has officiated basketball, lacrosse, softball and baseball for nearly a decade. He is the author of Whistleblower, which reveals the harsh truths of the amateur officiating industry and sheds light on the technologies, policies and solutions that will make amateur sports officiating more accessible, enjoyable and sustainable. He graduated with distinction from Duke University; is a member of Phi Beta Kappa; and holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a frequent speaker and presenter on the officiating and youth sports industries, sportsmanship and entrepreneurship.
Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Commissioner; former NFHS Baseball Rules Committee member and NFHS Football Rules Committee chair; current NFHS Football and Basketball Rules Committee member; previously KHSAA executive assistant commissioner, sports information director, sports administrator and business affairs director, also in charge of championship events; former high school and college football and basketball official of more than 20 years; involved in high school sports medicine and technology initiatives; former NASO board member.
As a PAVO and USA Volleyball National referee and a PAVO National line judge, Suzanne has worked conference, regional, and national championships in both positions. She currently works in several NCAA Division I and II conferences. She holds a doctorate and master’s degree from Florida State University and currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Anderson University (SC), Furman, and USC-Upstate. Her two children are active volleyball players – one of them even aspires to be a volleyball ofﬁcial herself.
MHSAA (Michigan) Executive Director; former MHSAA Assistant Director responsible for officials program (2004-2018); NCAA D-I baseball umpire; umpired the 2014 and 2017 NCAA College World Series and the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil; former NASO chair (2015) and board member (2011-15). Current ODA member.
NFHS chief operating officer; former commissioner of the North Carolina high school athletic association (NCHSAA); former associate commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC); previously served as the assistant athletic director for operations and facilities management at Wake Forest University.
GHSA (Georgia) Assistant Executive Director/Coordinator of Officiating
Ernie is the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Assistant Executive Director/Coordinator of Officiating where he oversees coordination of state championship events, officials evaluation and development camp training programs, officials rules clinics and exams and officiating award programs. He is a current NFHS Basketball and Softball Rules Committee member; former 30+ year NCAA and high school basketball official; current officials observer for the Athletic Coast and Southern conferences; former Director of Officials for former women’s professional basketball league (ABL 1996 – 99). He has a 45+ year career with fastpitch softball as a player, coach and administrator; current USA Softball Southeast Region Junior Olympic Commissioner; current Georgia State Deputy Commissioner; coached the 2019 USA Softball 17U Junior National Team to the Gold Medal at the 2019 WBSC Pan American Games.
MLB umpire supervisor since 2009; former MLB umpire (1985-2008); worked the World Series in 1996 and 2003; umpired three AL championship series, six AL divisional playoff series and two All-Star games (1991, 2003); worked in the minor leagues from 1978-82; 2002 Gold Whistle Award recipient.