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

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

Steve Coover's Weekly Bulls

See the current Weekly Bull for 9/20/23

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.

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

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.

Draft Day 2023

June 3rd was draft day. 25 crew chiefs were in attendance to pick their crews for the upcoming 2023 season. It is the best and most interesting day of the year. Good Luck to all Crews.

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

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. 

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

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

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)

‚ÄčNot Present
John and JJ Stavola
Mark and Tyler Lindsay