Official News

We are looking for additional SDCFOA member photos and stories from the past and present. If you have any photos or stories that you would like to have posted please send them to

Include the names of the officials. 


Photo: Pop Warner photo at University City

Mike Sexton, Don Carey and Mike Carey

Steve Coover's 2024 Weekly Bulls

See the current Weekly Bull for 6/14/24

Tom Ables on Prep Pigskin Report

Draft Day 2024

Steve Coover Instructional Chair

Don Carey 2nd Year Instructor and Former NFL Back Judge

June 1st was draft day. 27 crew chiefs were in attendance to pick their crews for the upcoming 2024 season. It is the best and most interesting day of the year. Good Luck to all Crews.

NCAA Meeting

Last night was the first college meeting for the 2024 season. It is great to see the officials coming back and preparing for the upcoming season. The San Diego Unit welcomes special guest Jack Wood, former PAC-10 Referee and former PAC-12 Replay Official. Jack for the last several years has come down to go over the new rules for the 2024 season.

2024 New Crew Chiefs

Leonard Blevins

Corey Butts

Glenn Inigo

Eric Stoffers

Levi Sumner

SDCFOA would like to congratulate the three new Crew Chiefs for the 2024 season.

Good Morning San Diego by Katie Ott

Katie talking about her first-year experience as a SDCFOA member.

Congratulations to the following Officials that worked the 2023-2024 Post Season!

NFL Post Season Assignments

Congratulations to SDCFOA members for working the NFL Post Season.

Tim Podraza

Super Bowl LVIII Kansas City vs. San Francisco – Alternate

Kansas City vs. Buffalo – Line Judge

Clay Reynard Jr

Green Bay vs San Francisco – Alternate

Danny Short

Miami vs. Kansas City – Alternate

Green Bay vs San Francisco- Down Judge

College Bowls

Fenway Bowl 12/28

Marlow Fitzgerald - U

68 Ventures Bowl 12/23

Steve Hoslett - LJ

Gator Bowl 12/29
Jason Gant - CJ
Chris Wiggins - Alternate

Pinstripe Bowl 12/28

Justin Elliott - R
Jon Stabile - LJ

ReliaQuest Bowl 1/1
Scott Countryman – Communicator

Idaho Potato Bowl 12/23
David Middleton – Alternate

Myrtle Beach Bowl 12/16
Jace Carlson - CJ

NCAA DII Playoffs 

Congratulations to Jacob Wittler who traveled to South Dakota for a NCAA DII playoff game between Augustana and Minnesota State.  

Mark Halby was also assigned but had to step back due to the arrival of their new baby!  Congratulations for both the game and the growing family!

Junior College Playoffs

John Gill, Kyle Takeo and Blair Havens – SoCal JC Championship Game
Greg Covington – JC Semifinal

Bowl Game Assignments 

Cale Dester, Andre Coleman and Blair Havens 

CIF State Semi-Final

David Sibbet, Sammy Totah, Charlton Lynch, Greg Covington, Ben Boccoli, Eric Stoffers and Ryan Robinson 

CIF State and Semi-Final Championship Games
Ted Schiess, Andre Coleman, Terry Bernard, Glen Inigo, Brian Mills, Shawn Franklin, Rob Schaerer, David Collins, Corey Butts, Jacob Wittler and Andy Wilson 

High School Finals

Division Open I II III
Referee Ted Schiess Jacob Wittler Dave Garza David Sibbet
Umpire Andre Coleman Andy Wilson Sammy Totah Franklin Simmons
Head Linesman Greg Covington Glenn Inigo Charlton Lynch Nick Motta
Line Judge Terry Bernard David Collins Spencer Hoffelder David Hardage
Field Judge Ben Boccoli Ryan Lanz Anthony Finney Nathan Wolf
Side Judge Brian Mills Eric Stoffers Matt Starr Leonard Blevins
Back Judge Rob Schaerer Corey Butts Ryan Robinson Phillip Rogers
Alternate Rick Christensen Art Warren Robin House Mike Andrews
Division IV V 5AA VI
Referee Scott Carroll Darrin Bronk Imperial County Nathan Thernes
Umpire Tom Flint Jim Wrightson Imperial County Joe Barr
Head Linesman Ken Bostwick Imperial County Tommy Patrick Kirby Wallace
Line Judge Domicus Perdue Imperial County David Duffield Joe St. Onge
Field Judge David Rios Imperial County Kevin Fuller N/A
Side Judge John Gill Imperial County Mike Andrews N/A
Back Judge John Downing Lavil Franklin Imperial County Kyle Takao
Alternate Gerry Burgos Ed Blick Mitch Villalpando Michael Allen

National Football Foundation

Steve Hoslett will be honored by the National Football Foundation at a dinner and social at the Doubletree Hilton in Mission Valley.  Ticket information will be sent out asap.  Steve has been such a great asset to our high school and college officials we will want to attend in support of Steve and this well-deserved honor!

NFF Awards Night For Steve Hoslett
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High School Sports Association

Tom Ables was awarded "All-Star Recognition" on Monday night by the High School Sports Association.  That distinguished group's mission is to celebrate high school athletics and the presenter, Damon Baldwin head coach of Ramona High School, was quick to point out the importance of the roll that officials play in the sport of football.  Tom joins a very distinguished group of coaches, administrators and officials who have distinguished themselves as All-Stars!  Congratulations Tom!

SDCFOA Remembers John McDade

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the sad news of the passing of our own John McDade. He was a great crew member and a wonderful umpire. John was the coordinator for volunteers for the Holiday Bowl and got many of us involved in the production. John was an on-field official for 22 years. He worked finals in 2011 and 2018. John was the liaison for the football officials who worked the San Diego State games. An instant replay technician for SDSU women basketball and for 15 years sideline replay assistant for SDSU football. He passed away this morning in peace with his family by his side. We will all remember and miss his deep friendship and love for the game of football.  He lived a full and successful life, and we are all better off for having him as a good  friend!  God Bless John! - Steve Coover

Tim Podraza

Tim worked his 250 NFL game when he worked the Colts/Bengals game Sunday. A milestone for one of SDCFOA finest. Congrats Tim!


Congratulations to the Winners of the 2023 CIF Sportsmanship Award 




Santa Fe Christian


Referee Magazine 

Congratulations to two of our own making it in the Referee Magazine. Matt Starr, our President in December 2023 and Parker Anderson in August 2023.

2023 SDCFOA Banquet

2023 SDCFOA Award Winners

George A. Schutte Award

Frank Alfano Over Time Award

Rookie of the Year

Ed Zapolski

Mike Downing

Katie Ott

SDCFOA Anniversaries

50 Years     

Tom Ables

Nate Weiss

40 Years     

30 Years     

Bob D'Angelo

Mike Weseloh

Mike Andrews

David Sibbet

20 Years     

Mike Becker

Terry Bernard

Ted Schiess

Scott Trimble

Banquet Photos

SDCFOA has Added Videos for the 2023 season

Steve Coover, the Instructional Chair for SDCFOA has put together an Instructional and Calibration Videos

Review Instructional Videos

Review Calibration Videos

2023 Working the Back Judge by Mark Halby with Don Carey, Former NFL Back Judge

Review Video

2023 Line of Scrimmage Clinic presented by Steve Hoslett (Mountain West Conference) and Jon Stabile (PAC-12)

Review Clinic Video

2023 Referee/Umpire Clinic presented by Garth DeFelice NFL Position Coaches, Former NFL Umpire and Michael Mothershed, PAC-12 Referee Position Coach, Former PAC-12 Referee

Review Clinic Video

Additional Videos are available to view

The 20th annual SDCFOA Golf Tournament Information

“The 20th annual SDCFOA Golf Tournament benefitting the SD Youth Football Fund will take place on November 1 at the beautiful Admiral Baker Golf Course.  Tee time is 11:30am and the event is open to all football officials/guests and all skill levels.  Entry fee is $150 for all of the benefits or $125 for just golf.  Space is limited, so please go to and click on “Fundraisers” ASAP to sign up.  Singles are welcome…we’ll make sure you get paired-up.  We can also use donations for the 19th hole raffle.  Please contact Mike Downing, Mike Gunzelman, or Ed Blick if you have questions.”

2023 Golf JPG
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Rules Analyst - Joe Greene

Joe Greene appears on the KUSI Prep Pigskin Report as a Rules Analyst to discuss a play at a recent High School football game.

2023 Honor Bowl

“It’s more than just a football game!”

Photos courtesy of Josh DaFoe

Welcome to The Honor Bowl, America’s finest High School Football Showcase with teams that have traveled from 14 states. The Honor Bowl continues to attract some of the best High School Football Programs in the U.S. We bring an educational experience for athletes, coaches, the fans, and their communities about who the true heroes are the men and women who volunteer to protect our freedoms and way of life!

High school football programs play in an event that is ‘more than just a football game!’ Cathedral Catholic High School of San Diego will be the host of the SoCal Honor Bowl. The list of teams will be compelling with programs that understand hard work equals success.

Game 1: Oak Ridge (El Dorado, CA) vs. Madison (San Diego, CA)

Game 2: Brophy College Prep (Phoenix, AZ) vs. Cathedral Catholic (Del Mar, CA)

Game 3: Trinity Valley (Ft. Worth, TX) vs. University City (San Diego, CA)

Game 4: Red Mountain (Mesa, AZ vs. Helix (La Mesa, CA) 

Game 5: Punahou (Honolulu, HI) vs. Centennial (Corona, CA)

To learn more about this program go the website Honor

Referee Magazine September Cover

Congratulations to Mike Andrews for being the 4th SDCFOA member to be on the cover of Referee magazine for September 2023.

Welcome to the 2023 Football Season

The SDCFOA kickoff the 2023 season with the first general meeting of the season. Welcome back to all certified officials. SDCFOA would like to welcome the first year and transfer officials. Matt Starr, the President of the Association started the evening with his opening remarks.


SDCFOA would like to welcome our newly certified officials.

Additional speakers included Mike Downing from the SDFYF, Steve Coover, Instructional Chair and the keynote speaker was Andy Castagnola.

Happy Fourth of July

The SDCFOA is wishing everyone a safe Holiday!

The members will be preparing for the 2023 season starting July 5th with their first general meeting. It will be great to see everyone again. 

Looking for New Officials

We are looking for new officials. We will be working girls flag football this season. Sign up today!

Joe Greene is interviewed by Paul Rudy at KUSI.

Referee Magazine July 2023

Congratulations to two of our own making it in the July 2023 Edition of Referee Magazine. Matt Starr, our President and Glenn Inigo.

San Diego State Passing Tournament

SDSU held their annual passing tournament June 9th, 10th, 17th and 18th. It was an opportunity for officials to take out their uniforms and prepare for the 2023 season.

Marlow Fitzgerald National Football Foundation Official of the Year!

Congratulations to our own Marlow Fitzgerald for being selected by the National Football Foundation as the Official of the Year.  The dinner and awards will be on April 14th at the Doubletree Hotel in Hazard Center.  I will send out ticket information as soon as it is available.  Congratulations, Marlow!

Attached is the flyer announcing the NFF Annual Awards Banquet where our own Marlow Fitzgerald will be recognized as the Official of the Year.  It is always a great event which includes a no-host social, dinner and the awards presentations.  Please join us as we recognize and honor Marlow for all of his achievements and for what he has meant to the SDCFOA!  The link below will lead you to on-line ticket sales using the Eventbrite site.  I found the process to be fairly easy to use.  Call me or Jennifer Bower (see flyer) if you have any difficulty

Congratulations to Steve Coover

Last night Steve Coover received the Bob Breitbard Meritorious Achievement Award at the San Diego Hall of Fame High School Coaching Legends 22nd Annual Induction Dinner.

San Diego County Football Officials Assoc/School Administrator

Steve began his officiating career in 1976 following in the footsteps of his father Chuck Coover who played, coached and officiated football in San Diego County.  During Steve’s 32 years as an official, he was assigned to some of the top games including over 20 CIF semifinals and 6 CIF Championships and 1 State Championship.  He continues to serve as the Instructional Chair for the San Diego County Football Officials Association and is currently the CIF Rules Interpreter for the state.  Steve is a paid observer for several West Coast Football Conferences and the NFL.  He is a retired administrator who served as a Principal in both the La Mesa-Spring Valley and Grossmont Union School Districts.

Steve Coover Acceptance Speech

Junior Garcia starts his 50th season with SDCFOA

Channel 10 News interview

Read News Article

As officials, we know that what we do isn’t easy. It takes a lot of snaps to become proficient at what we do. Even with experience, there is always room for improvement. Always a cause to get better. We have fun and look back proudly at what we have learned and experienced over the years. But sometimes it’s tough. You have a bad game. A coach gives you hard time. Or sometimes the old body just doesn’t feel up to the job on a particular day. It’s fun and it can be rewarding but imagine doing this for 50 years.

This year our own Junior Garcia will complete his 50th year as an official in our Association. 50 years of snaps, flags, whistles, and calls. 50 years of learning, growing, improving, and setbacks. 50 years of leadership, mentorship, friendship, and comradery. This is truly an amazing accomplishment. Junior has dedicated himself to our Association, the youth in our community, and the game of football. He has done it faithfully, competently, and happily for all these years.

When you do positive things for your community, people take notice. Local media has taken notice and came out to see Junior in action on opening night. Please watch Junior in this Positively San Diego segment recently aired on 10 News. On behalf of the entire Association, Thank you Junior! Congratulations on reaching the 50-year milestone. Now, for the good of the Association, get back on the field!    

Terry Bernard                                                                                                                                          President SDCFOA  

Recruitment Interview

San Diego County Sports Officials Hall of Fame Annual Induction

Here is a story regarding Sal Gambino from the Rancho Santa Fe Review

Sal Gambino and John Ferguson (Instructional Chair and amazing referee) are both being inducted into the San Diego County Sports Officials Hall of Fame on Tuesday September 13th at 5:00pm at the Scottish Rite in Mission Valley.  Ticket information can be found at:

Trying to cope with officials shortage

Credit to both John Maffei and the San Diego Union Tribune for this article.


2022 Football Season Kicked Off

Last Wednesday we had our general meeting. President Terry Bernard and Instructional Chair Steve Coover welcomed everyone back. Former NFL Back Judge Don Carey gave the members a presentation to get the season started.

SDCFOA would like to welcome 32 first year officials. It is not too late to join. We are accepting new officials. Go to our Home Page to register.

All training and instruction provided. 

2022 LCC 7 on 7 Passing Tournament

The LCC 7 on 7 Passing Tournament held last weekend provided training and instruction from the Instructional Chair Steve Coover, former and current NFL officials Mike and Don Carey, Garth DeFelice, Tim Podraza, current and former D1 officials Steve Hoslett, Mike Weseloh and additional college officials Matt Starr, Joe Magnuson, Rob Schaerer and Kyle Takao. SDCFOA would like to thank them for giving back.

See Photo Gallery

Shortage of youth football officials could push high school games to Thursdays and Saturdays

Read Article

Recruitment Video on KUSI featuring Joe Greene

Recruitment Photos

Seeking former football players

Recruitment in East County

Read Article

SDCFOA in the News

The SDCFOA and its officials have been highlighted many times in the local news, including articles on the association’s efforts to recruit new members, podcast interviews with the instructional chair, and feature stories highlighting notable SDCFOA officials and their accomplishments on and off the field.

July 13, 2021: “Football Officials Association Seeing Shortage in Referees” – KUSI

July 12, 2021: “Referees Sought for San Diego County Fall Youth Football Season” – Patch

July 12, 2021: “Referees Sought for San Diego County Fall Youth Football Season” – Times of San Diego

July 12, 2021: “Referees Sought for San Diego County Fall Youth Football Season” – NBC 7/39

July 12, 2021: “Referees Sought for San Diego County Fall Youth Football Season” – Coast News Group (also appeared in

June 29, 2021: “The SDCFOA Meeting Our Officiating Diversity Deficit Head On” – Voice & Viewpoint

Aug. 4, 2020: “High School Football Seeking Officials to Combat Shortage” – San Diego Union-Tribune

Dec. 11, 2019: “Safety is Priority #1 for San Diego County Football Officials” – U-T Prep Podcast, San Diego Union-Tribune

July 24, 2019: “U-T Prep Report Online: Interview with Steve Coover” – U-T Prep Podcast, San Diego Union-Tribune

Oct. 17, 2018: “Official, 80, Has No Plan to Take a Seat on the Sideline” – San Diego Union-Tribune

July 13, 2017: “Hall of Famer Earned His Stripes as Football Referee” – San Diego Union-Tribune

June 28, 2017: “Military Seen as Hotbed for Recruiting Sports Referees” – San Diego Union-Tribune

June 28, 2016: “Ex-Charger Gets Football Fix as Official” – San Diego Union-Tribune

June 24, 2016: “Football Officials Looking to Increase Ranks” – San Diego Union-Tribune

Sept. 3, 2015: “Former Ref Mike Carey Now Explains the Calls” – Associated Press

June 27, 2015: “Officials Find a Way to Stay in the Game” – San Diego Union-Tribune                      

May 6, 2014: “County Looking for Football Officials” – San Diego Union-Tribune

Feb. 24, 2013: “NFL Referee Mike Carey a Success On and Off Field” – San Diego Union-Tribune

Sept. 16, 2011: “NFL Official Knows He’s Only as Good as His Last Call” – San Diego Union-Tribune

Congratulations to Mike Carey

Mike is being named the 2022 NFLRA HONOREE. The union recognized Mike for his outstanding NFL officiating career and his service to the NFLRA.  Please join me in congratulating Mike and enjoy this fun and inspiring video! The full press release is also attached. - Steve

Training Videos by Garth DeFelice

Garth DeFelice has provided training video for Back Judges and Running Play Coverages.

Garth is a former NFL Umpire and currently a NFL Supervisor.

SDCFOA would like to thank Garth for his continued support. 

Back Judge 2nd Level Fouls

Running Play Coverage

Referee Magazine Article by Bob D'Angelo

September 2021

Interview with the President

February 26, 2021

Referee Magazine Covers

Garth DeFelice August 2002

Tim Podraza September 2004

Mike Carey November 2006

Butt-Fumble Play

Featuring Mike Carey


You Tube videos of this play has over 4 million views.

Fathers, Sons and Brothers


Father, Son and Brother family members serving in the San Diego County Football Official’s Association gathered together to enjoy a photo opportunity at the conclusion of this year’s annual SDCFOA Banquet. Recruitment and retention of quality football officials has been a source of strength and long held tradition of our association for many years. Many of these family members have served on Varsity crews together and in several cases, Fathers were instrumental in training their Sons to become successful crew chiefs, following in their Dad’s footsteps.

Left to right (Fathers standing, Sons kneeling)

  1. John Gill and John Gill III

  2. Rick and Jimmy Christensen

  3. Don and Kevin Clay

  4. Richard and Ian Sage

  5. Bob and Mike Duggan

  6. Edward and Sergio Delos Reyes

  7. David and Alec Rios

  8. John and David McDade

  9. Dave and Jim Sibbet (in front)

Way Back row – Brothers
Bill and Kevin Haws
Don and Mike Carey
Bill Tellous (likes the limelight)

​Not Present
John and JJ Stavola
Mark and Tyler Lindsay