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


SDCFOA remembers the sacrifice and service of those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. SDCFOA honors the service and sacrifice all members of the military gave to this country.

SDCFOA Remembering Coach Herb Meyers

Coach Meyer started as the head coach of Oceanside High School in 1959.  In 1976, he went on to become the first head coach and athletic director of El Camino High School. He had more wins than any coach in the history of California High School football with 338 victories.  He became the first coach in California history to win 300 games, the first to win at least 100 games at two different schools and win 10 CIF Championships. He retired after the 2003 season after 45 years of being a head coach. Before his final home game, the El Camino Football Stadium was renamed Herb Meyer Stadium in his honor.

Coach Meyer passed away on April 8, 2023

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

SDCFOA Remembering Fellow Members

Ken Holly

Ken was a SDCFOA member from 1960 to 1995. He officiated all levels of football. He was the High School and Pop Warner assigner for many years. He is inducted in the San Diego Sports Official Hall of Fame for Track and Field.

Harvey Sniegowski

Harvey was a SDCFOA member for over 15 years. He worked in the NCAA for several years. He was a crew Chief in 1997 until 2005. He worked at least 3 finals one as a Referee. Harvey worked as an usher for the San Diego Padres.

2023 NFHS Football Rule Changes

High school rule changes are out for the 2023 season. Read Rule Changes

2023 NFL Post Season Assignments

Congratulations to SDCFOA members for working the NFL Post Season.

Tim Podraza worked the NFC Championship Game between San Francisco vs. Philadelphia and will be an Alternate Official for Super Bowl LVII.

Danny Short worked the Divisional Game between Jacksonville vs. Kansas City and was the Alternate in the NFC Championship Game San Francisco vs. Philadelphia.

Clay Reynard Jr. was the Alternate Official for the Wild Card game San Diego vs. Jacksonville.

Congratulations to the following SDCFOA members for their 2022 Bowl assignments:

CFO West:
Citrus Bowl - Bob Bahne - Replay Comm.  
Sun Bowl - Marlow Fitzgerald- Umpire  
Sun Bowl - Scott Reilly - Alternate Official  
Pinstripe Bowl - Bill Bishop - Umpire  
Bahamas Bowl - Steve Hoslett - Line Judge  
Bahamas Bowl - Scott Countryman - Replay Comm.  
Music City Bowl - Chris Wiggins - Center Judge  
First Responder Bowl - Jon Stabile - Line Judge  
First Responder Bowl - Jason Gant - Alternate Official  
Quick Lane Bowl - Michael Mothershed - Referee 

Congratulations Bob Bahne – Bob has been selected to be the replay official for the Mountain West Championship Game this Saturday at 1:00 pm on Fox – Fresno St. at Boise St.

Marlow Fitzgerald to Work the Big12 Conference Championship! – Congratulations to Marlow.  All of his dedication and hard work continue to pay off! Kansas State vs TCU on Saturday, Dec. 3rd at 9:00 at AT&T Stadium. 

SDCFOA Information Update - Steve Coover - Post Championship Games

State Championship Games – A special “thank you” to Mike Andrews and Jacob Wittler, for their leadership of our two crews who worked CIF State Championship Games.  Jacob and his crew of Jacob Wittler, Mike Gunzelman, Mike Duggan, Terry Bernard, George Conley Jr., Derrick Vassar, and Blair Havens did a great job officiating the Classical Academy vs Lancaster game.  Then Mike Andrews, Scott Carroll, Ed Blick, Matt Starr, Jimmy Christensen, Leonard Blevins, Glenn Inigo, Parker Anderson, and Mark Halby worked the Etiwanda vs Granite Hills regional championship followed by the Liberty vs Pittsburgh game (due to availability issues we had some fill ins). In addition to these two groups, Mike

Lemieux also worked on an all-star crew doing a regional and a state championship game!  Again, congratulations to all who represented the SDCFOA so well, and thank you!
Alex Spanos All Star Game Crew – Joe Magnuson, Jim Huggins, Lorri Stratton, Spencer Hoffelder, Alec Rios, LD Wills, and Andrew Burkhart did an exceptional job working the annual all-star game and, again, represented the SDCFOA extremely well.  The game was fun, the coaches and players were great, and the crew let them play!  Again, thanks for your excellent work.
Two More All-Star Games – Well, there is an all-star game this Saturday at Mesa College at 6:15 pm.  It’s called the Mikasi Bowl with players from LA playing SD.  This is the one where the players get to celebrate without penalty.  Just FYI.  The following week is the Friday Night Lights All-Star game which features more of the star athletes who played on championship teams who couldn’t play in the Spanos game.  That will be Friday 12/23 at 7:00pm at Mission Bay HS.  A great crew has been assigned: Halby, Baily, Bryan, Trimble, Franklin, Takeo, Boccoli.
SDCFOA Off-Season Work – The recruiting and retention committee headed by Gittelson and Garza, are following up on some 35-leads for new officials who expressed an interest in joining.  Have you run across someone who’s interested?  Just get them in touch with either Gary or Dave!  In addition, the Board will be getting organized for the 2023 season in January and meet for the first of three monthly meetings in February.  Hint: We’re looking at meeting this season, in-person, at Mira Mesa High School.  Position Clinics will remain on Zoom.  It will be great to get back together, enhance our friendships, and learn from one another.  Our General Meeting will be Wednesday July 5th at Mira Mesa in the Theater at 7:00pm!  Don’t forget to study your rules in the off-season.  I will meet with the NFHS Rules Committee in January, and the new rules will be announced in February.  I anticipate at least one MAJOR rule change.  If you took the survey which I sent out, you’ll have a clue what the change(s) might be.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! - Steve

Steve Coover's Weekly Bulls

See the current Weekly Bull for 11/28/22.

Steve Coover Instructional Videos

Congratulations to the following Officials that worked the 2022 Post Season!

NCAA D2 Playoffs – Congratulations to Justin Joseph and his playoff crew from the Lone Star Conference who have been selected to work a game between Wingate University and the University of West Florida.  The game will be played at the UWF in Pensacola, Florida.

2nd round game - Colorado School of Mines vs Minnesota State University.

A Semifinal game between Shepherd University and Colorado School of Mines. 

NCAA D3 SCIAC Crew – This crew featured Jace Carlson at referee, Tony Shaw at LJ and Parker Anderson at BJ.  They worked the game between Bethel College in Minnesota vs Linfield University in Oregon.  

JC Southern California Championship Game – Congratulations to Domicus Perdue who has been assigned to the SoCal championship game this Saturday at noon, between Riverside and Fullerton Colleges.

JC State Playoffs – SoCal Semifinals – Both Referees are from San Diego: David Garza (Referee) between Fullerton and Mt. San Antonio Colleges and Brian Mills (Referee) plus Corey Butts between Riverside and Ventura Colleges.

JC Bowl Game Assignments – Kyle Takeo, Ben Boccoli, Ed Zapolski (Referee), Greg Covington, and Domicus Perdue.

High School State Championship Crew

R – Mike Andrews
U – Scott Carroll
HL – Matt Starr
LJ – Jimmy Christensen
FJ – Leonard Blevins
SJ – Glenn Inigo
BJ – Parker Anderson

High School State Regional Championships on Friday, 12/2 at 7:30 pm
Lancaster High School vs Classical Academy at Del Norte High School
R – Jacob Wittler
U – Mike Gunzelman
HL – Terry Bernard
LJ – Mike Duggan
FJ – George Conley Jr.
SJ – Derrick Vassar
BJ – Blair Havens

High School State Regional Championships on Saturday, 12/3 at 6:00 pm
Etiwanda High School (from Rancho Cucamonga) at Granite Hills High School

R - Mike Andrews
U - Andre Coleman
HL -Jimmy Christensen
LJ – Matt Starr

FJ - Leonard Blevins
SJ - Genn Inigo
BJ – Mark Halby

High School Finals

Division Open I II III IV V
Referee Mike Andrews Greg Covington Jacob Wittler Robin House Michael Allen Gary Gittelson
Umpire Andre Coleman Ed Blick Miles Bailey Sal Gambino Mike Gunzelman Michael Lay
Head Linesman Justin Joseph Mike Lemieux Paul Kwiatkowski Charlton Lynch Imperial County Matt Fratus
Line Judge Jimmy Christensen Michael Duggan Donald Clay Ollon Carter Imperial County Sergio De Los Reyes
Field Judge Derrick Vassar George Conley Jr Domicus Perdue Andrew Burkart Imperial County David Hardage
Side Judge Tony Sands Glenn Indigo Mark Halby Bob Flavin Leonard Blevins Daniel Isida
Back Judge Parker Anderson Blair Havens John Gill Nathan Wolf Anthony Finney Phillip Rogers
Alternate Ted Schiess Mike Downing Levi Sumner David Sibbet Scott Carroll Joseph Magnuson

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

George A. Schutte Award

Congratulations to Jeff Phillips for being awarded the George Schutte Award for 2022. It is well deserved for his service to the Association. 

Frank Alfano Overtime Award

Congratulations to John Downing for being awarded the Frank Alfano Overtime Award for 2022. 

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

If you have any questions, please call Gary Gittelson at Recruitment and Retention Committee.

(619) 431-0459

Position Clinic Videos

2022 Line of Scrimmage Clinic

Line of Scrimmage Video with Clinic

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

New 2022 College Rule Changes by John McDaid

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)

‚ÄčNot Present
John and JJ Stavola
Mark and Tyler Lindsay