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NCAA referee with the announcement of the year

Don Willard is the clubhouse leader for Referee Announcement of the Year Award.



Big 10 referee and Officiating Development Program official Don Willard made a mistake Saturday. 

He faced the wrong way when announcing a foul. It can happen. It has happened to the best, many times.

But, the way he handled himself with a live microphone places him into nomination for referee announcement of the year.

While it is not Ben Dreith’s “giving him the business” or Jerry Markbreit’s “earthy retort,” it will go down in officiating lore.

Ed Hochuli and Gene Steratore are masters on the microphone. But they and the rest of their NFL brethren have a long way to go to beat out Willard for announcement of the year.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"