St. Joseph’s David Buck Named Vern L. Norris Winner

Contact: Geoff Kimmerly or John Johnson
517.332.5046 or media@mhsaa.com

EAST LANSING, Mich. – April 17 – One of Michigan’s most respected high school basketball officials, and one of the nation’s top collegiate baseball umpires, St. Joseph’s David Buck has piled up a list of accomplishments over 40 years of officiating – and drawn from those experiences in teaching officials at the local, state and national levels. To recognize his vast contributions to high school officiating, Buck has been selected to receive the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Vern L. Norris Award for 2019.

Buck is pictured above, center, at the Annual Banquet. To the left is Assistant Director Brent Rice. To the right is Executive Director Mark Uyl.

The Norris Award is presented annually to a veteran official who has been active in a local officials association, has mentored other officials, and has been involved in officials’ education. It is named for Vern L. Norris, who served as executive director of the MHSAA from 1978-86 and was well-respected by officials on the state and national levels.

Buck will be honored at the 40th Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. Norris initiated the annual officials celebration in 1980.

Buck also will be honored with his 40-year service award and remains registered with the MHSAA for basketball. He previously officiated football for 16 years, volleyball for his first seven and baseball for his first five beginning with the 1979-80 school year.

He has focused solely on basketball for the MHSAA since 2002-03 and officiated Boys Basketball Semifinals in 2012 and 2013 and the Class B Final in 2009. Additionally, he officiated 30 college basketball seasons, stepping away from that level a year ago, and has begun his 21st at the NCAA Division I baseball level, working in the Big Ten, Mid-American, Pac-12 and Big West conferences. He earned College World Series assignments in 2004 and 2007 and umpired in minor league baseball for 11 seasons, including four at the Triple-A level. Buck also is in his 15th year observing and evaluating umpires for Major League Baseball.

As noted, those experiences on the field have provided knowledge he willingly passes on off it. After attending the prestigious Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School – he was named the “outstanding student” in 1984 – Buck also served there as an instructor for eight years. He taught 24 years at the Doane Umpire Camps and also has instructed at the Division I Baseball Regional Umpire Camp.

On the high school level, he’s been a member of the Fruit Belt Officials Association for more than three decades including more than 15 years serving on its Board of Directors. He developed the FBOA’s mentoring program that pairs novice basketball officials with experienced partners for low-level games, and he also developed the FBOA website and continues to serve as its webmaster.

“Dave Buck generously gives of his time to teach and instruct at clinics all over the country. He is an outstanding teacher who relates to all officials, from the rookies and up-and-comers to the veterans still working at improving their craft,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “Dave also has brought a level of enhanced professionalism to the officiating landscape in southwestern Michigan, where he has improved the continuing education, recruitment and retention efforts and assignment process for many officials. I cannot think of a more worthy Vern Norris Award winner than Dave Buck.”

Buck graduated from North Adams-Jerome High School in 1978, then earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Central Michigan University. Although he has never taught fulltime in a school, Buck did serve as a substitute teacher frequently during his offseasons from professional baseball and has spent a significant part of his non-sports professional life teaching and training in a variety of settings.

Not only is Buck a highly-respected teacher and trainer in officiating, but he’s also a determined recruiter for the avocation – with the opportunity to connect a candidate with officiating part of what drives him to continue playing such a major role.

“We want people to succeed so much … and I still get a lot of joy out of seeing someone who discovers the world we’re in with officiating,” Buck said. “The camaraderie part of it, the feeling you get from doing the job properly, although for the most part you’re not getting pats on the back from people other than your own. It’s a unique group of people at all levels.”

In addition to the College World Series and nine Division I Super Regional assignments, Buck has umpired two Olympic Qualifier tournaments and the Baseball World Cup in 2007. Locally, in addition to officiating basketball, Buck has served as an assigner and evaluator for multiple southwest Michigan conferences for 15 years.

Buck most recently has been affiliated with the FBOA, Amateur Baseball Umpires’ Association, Collegiate Baseball Umpires Alliance and National Association of Sports Officials. He currently works as an electronic health records analyst at Lakeland Health in St. Joseph.

While officiating has played a significant part during the majority of Buck’s adult life, he’s equally passionate about his fundraising work to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Buck’s oldest daughter Hannah battles the disease; he’s personally raised more than $175,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and served as the co-chairperson of St. Joseph’s “Great Strides Walk” from 2002-16. Hannah, who was diagnosed at age 5, will graduate from University of Michigan earlier in the day May 4.

Previous recipients of the Norris Award are:

1992 – Ted Wilson, East Detroit
1993 – Fred Briggs, Burton
1994 – Joe Brodie, Flat Rock
1995 – Jim Massar, Flint
1996 – Jim Lamoreaux, St. Ignace
1997 – Ken Myllyla, Escanaba
1998 – Blake Hagman, Kalamazoo
1999 – Richard Kalahar, Jackson
2000 – Barb Beckett, Traverse City; Karl Newingham, Bay City
2001 – Herb Lipschultz, Kalamazoo
2002 – Robert Scholie, Hancock
2003 – Ron Nagy, Hazel Park
2004 – Carl Van Heck, Grand Rapids
2005 – Bruce Moss, Alma
2006 – Jeanne Skinner, Grand Rapids
2007 – Terry Wakeley, Grayling
2008 – Will Lynch, Honor
2009 – James Danhoff, Richland
2010 – John Juday, Sr., Petoskey
2011 – Robert Williams, Redford
2012 – Lyle Berry, Rockford
2013 – Tom Minter, Okemos
2014 – Hugh R. Jewell, West Bloomfield
2015 – Sam Davis, Lansing
2016 – Linda Hoover, Marshall
2017 – Michael Gentry, Shelby Township
2018 – Jill Baker-Cooley, Big Rapids

High school game officials with 20, 30, 40, 45 and 50 years of service also will be honored at the Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on May 4.

Thirteen officials with 50 or more years of service will be honored, along with 53 officials with 45 years. A 40-year award will be presented to 66 officials. In addition, 99 officials with 30 years and 160 officials with 20 years of experience will be honored. With the induction of this year’s group of 391, the honor roll of officials who have aided young student-athletes grows to 11,397 since the inception of the banquet in 1980.

Tickets for the banquet are available to the public and priced at $20. They will not be sold at the door. Tickets can be ordered by calling the MHSAA office at (517) 332-5046 or by sending the order form available at this link: https://www.mhsaa.com/portals/0/Documents/Officials/banquet19.pdf. Deadline to order is April 22.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.


(MEDIA ADVISORY – A complete listing of officials to be honored, in alphabetical order by city, is included in this release. We hope you will recognize any individuals from your area who have contributed over the years to interscholastic athletics. Members of the media interested in attending the banquet may contact Faye Verellen at the MHSAA office for complimentary tickets.)

20, 30, 40, 45 & 50-YEAR OFFICIALS

The officials on this list will receive their 20, 30, 40, 45 or 50-year service awards at the 40th annual Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

Ada - Dawn M. Hart
Adrian - Aaron S. Crowley
Alden - Gerald R. Grieve
Allen Park - Scott M. Antioch
Allen Park - Ronald B. Rowland
Allendale - Brent J. Clark
Allendale - Alison M. Haraburda
Ann Arbor - Kevin S. Behmer
Ann Arbor - Bradley R. Mutnick
Athelstane - Robin G. Elsner 

Bad Axe - Mark J. Schultz
Battle Creek - Kim M. Leach
Battle Creek - Mark J. Nabozny
Battle Creek - Marty D. Whalen
Bay City - Rosalinn I. Hardy
Beaverton - Susan J. Walker
Belleville - John R. Cast
Berkley - Daniel J. Monaco
Berkley - Chet Ostrowski
Bronson - Al Sosinski
Brownstown Township - Mark D. Johnson
Byron Center - Alicia S. Foote

Cadillac - Roger A. Fauble
Calumet - Marc J. Norton
Canton - Luther A. Bradley
Carleton - Michael R. Norgren
Caro - Manuel J. Sapien
Carsonville - William E. Wheat
Cass City - Russell P. Biefer
Cassopolis - Jim Foster
Cassopolis - Gerald Stewart
Cheboygan - Stephen R. Warren
Clark Lake - James M. McKinley
Clarkston - Kurt N. Haines
Columbiaville - Lenny Chaltraw
Concord - Kelly Khon
Crystal - James L. Brown 

Dearborn - Barry M. Morang
Detroit - Walter R. Strong Jr.
DeWitt - Scott A. Helmic
Dorr - Lynne F Hunter 

East Jordan - Peter A. Elliott
Escanaba - Scott E. Kwarciany

Farmington Hills - Raymond Washington Jr.
Fenton - Juli A. Brown
Fenton - Wayne M. Mentier
Flat Rock - Nichole Mullins
Flushing - Brian R. Conover
Flushing - Matthew D. McLaughlin
Flushing - William R. White
Fort Gratiot - Steven P. Goudy
Fraser - Nicole D. Cuello La O
Fremont - Ann L. Pell
Fremont - Randall W. Pell
Fruitport - Shaun M. Danicek 

Gaylord - Kent Bowen
Grand Ledge - Bruce A. Vida Jr.
Grand Rapids - Michael A. Bauer
Grand Rapids - Thomas V. Oliver
Grand Rapids - Darrian C. Thompson
Grandville - Michael S. Baio
Grandville - Robert J. Powers
Greenville - John J. Forton
Grosse Pointe Shores - Daniel F. Moffitt 

Haslett - Brian M. Smith
Hillsdale - Joe P. Burkhart
Holland - Rick P. Haskins
Howard City - Alan J. Parker 

Indian River - Thomas B. Stone
Ionia - Denny M. Ferguson
Ionia - Steven L. Gross
Ionia - Tim J. Swain
Ira - Harry A. Thomas Jr.
Iron River - Crystal L. Bongi 

Jackson - Everton G. Davidson Sr.
Jackson - Brian A. Draper
Jackson - Tony W. Griggs
Jenison - Leisa A. Lobbezoo 

Kalamazoo - Priscilla L. Bagley
Kalamazoo - Brent J. Bos
Kalamazoo - Cory M. Hinga
Kalamazoo - Susan M. Riksen
Kalamazoo - Daniel B. Stahr
Kimball - Clarence Wendell II 

Lansing - Jerry L. Armstrong
Lansing - Richard C. Preston
LaPorte - Kendall L. Schaeffer
Livonia - Kire Bosnjakovski 

Macomb - Dennis M. Kennedy
Marquette - Steven Paul Ritenour
Mason - Kirk R. Petee
Mason - Donald R. Sherwood
Mattawan - Anthony W. Coulter
Midland - Edward E. Saunders
Millington - Gailan R. Reinert
Monroe - Daniel W. Jukuri
Monroe - Marvin A. Krueger
Montague - Darric E. Roesler
Mt. Clemens - Jack C. Robinson
Mt. Pleasant - Todd Heller
Muskegon - James A. Allen Jr.
Muskegon - Lon C. Cross
Muskegon - Kevin D. Floyd
Muskegon - Matthew R. Koekkoek 

North Branch - Jason Castle
North Branch - Lyle D. Jamison
Norvell - Trenton A. Withrow 

Onsted - David C. Lauer 

Petoskey - Gregory B. Brown
Pickford - Vance M. Barber
Pierson - Andrew D. Paulen
Port Austin - Michael L. Rea
Portage - Thomas L. Crook
Portage - Scott A. Muffley
Portland - Michael J. Hilley 

Rochester Hills - Kevin M. May
Romulus - Victor R. Lambert
Rudyard - Sarah E. Kwiatkowski 

Saginaw - Scott R. Helmka
Saginaw - Jeremy M. Mueller
Sanford - Keith Steele Stewart
Sault Ste. Marie - Todd M. Menard
Schoolcraft - Paul M. Rigby
Scottville - Nicholas T. Marshall
Shelby - Thomas E. Morningstar
South Haven - Wayne A. Wilkinson
South Lyon - Julie L. Fisette
South Lyon - Jason E. Rigley
Southfield - Kim F. Bell
Southfield - Thomas E. Marshall
Southfield - Kendall G. Sherman
Southfield - Jerome A. Shipp
Spring Lake - Marty D. Gravelyn Sr.
Spring Lake - Patrick N. Stegeman
St. Clair Shores - Michael Drake
St. Clair Shores - James E Haddad
St. Clair Shores - Randy Stuart 
St. Ignace - Stacy McNamara-Perry
St. Louis - Julie G. Anderson
Sterling Heights - James P. Collier
Stevensville - Ron A. Waldvogel
Swartz Creek - Tashema M. Hayter
Sylvania - Gary F. Grycza 

Taylor - Michael A. Daniel
Trenton - William T. Sanfilippo
Troy - Anthony T. Howard 

Vermontville - Brian A. Hopkins 

Waterford - Jeffrey P. Harnack
Weidman - John A. Cotter
West Bloomfield - Dennis J. Hannon
West Bloomfield - Michael Tarnopol
West Branch - Harold W. Wangler
West Olive - Jan Milek
West Olive - Cort E. Musolf
West Olive - Dan D. Zwick
Westland - Stephen R. Shiner
Westland - Mark J. Wludyka
Williamston - Roger F. Blasey
Wyoming - Bradley T. Brunet
Wyoming - Dennis J. Hodges 

Allegan - Thomas D. Collins
Alpena - Terry W. King 

Battle Creek - Damon J. Fox
Battle Creek - James R. Hughes
Bay City - Raul Gonzales
Bay City - Paul L. Sevilla
Bay City - Holly L. Watson
Bear Lake - Ross E. Schuch
Belleville - James M. Neal
Bloomfield Hills - Bette Norman
Brooklyn - Kevin R. Carpenter 

Caledonia - Greg L. Pilbeam
Calumet - Sean D. Jacques
Carleton - Rick Grant
Carney - Paul A. Polfus
Charlotte - Ronald B. Beegle
Commerce Township - Brian R. Conley
Comstock Park - Robert L. Neier
Comstock Park - Terri L. Richards 

Davison - Michael E. McKenna
Detroit - Troy Campbell
Detroit - Johnny P. Green 
Detroit - John L. Walton
DeWitt - Dennis M. Beecham
Dowagiac - William J. Ward
Dundee - Robert L. Kroeger 

East Leroy - Dale A. Traister
Eastpointe - David W. Vojinov
Edwardsburg - Roger A. Hostetler
Escanaba - Raymond Robitaille 

Farmington Hills - Derek S. Adolf
Farmington Hills - David P. Drake
Farwell - Fred L. Witchell
Fenton - Earl L. Coad
Flint - Anthony A. Lewis
Flint - Michael L. Tipton
Flint - Gregory G. Waller
Fort Gratiot - Lowell W. Spiess 

Goodrich - Kathleen S. Schollar
Grand Haven - Mark Knopf
Grand Rapids - Dawn D. Brackmann
Grand Rapids - Michael S. Dolce
Grand Rapids - James G. VanEenennaam
Grandville - Gary A. Jandernoa
Granger - Richard A. Cox 

Hastings - Mark E. Martin
Holland - Duane D. Baker
Holland - Robert J. Durham
Holland - Brent T. Gawlik
Holt - David P. Gonzalez

Jenison - Jack H. Blauwkamp 

Kalamazoo - Mark B. Heineman
Kalamazoo - Paul E. Kampen
Kalamazoo – R. Scott Ryder
Kalamazoo - Bradley J. Stapert
Kewadin - Jan R. Veliquette 

Lacota - Ted S. Krzemen Jr.
Lansing - Robert C. Troub
Livonia - David C. Robitaille
Lowell - Randall C. Halstead 

Marne - Mary J. Gavin
Marquette - Scot C. Fure
Midland - Cathy L. Bourne
Midland - Brian L. Taglauer
Monroe - Ben F. Budzios
Monroe - James O. Bunkelman 

Naubinway - Elmer H. Albright
New Lothrop - Richard L. Ustishen
Norway - Donald R. Lofholm 

Owosso - Randy L. Nesbit 

Petoskey - Mark W. Lennemann
Plainwell - Nancy J. Snyder
Plymouth - Michael J. Craig 

Rogers City - Valerie S. Peacock
Romulus - Debbie L. Dick
Royal Oak - Michael C. DeVuyst 

Sandusky - Daniel W. Guibord
Sault Ste. Marie - Anthony D. Abramson
Shelby Township - Rock Dedvukaj
Shelby Township - Donald E. Schima
Southfield - Steven E. Woodfork
St. Clair Shores - Joseph S. Denomme
St. Louis - Matthew T. Chovanec
Sterling Heights - Martin A. Hacias
Sterling Heights - Brian S. Hopp
Stevensville - Charles D. Jager 

Tecumseh - Lori Spotts
Thompsonville - Scott W. Lonoconus
Toledo - Thomas P. Donovan 

Walker - Joseph A. Geluso
Warren - Kenneth A. Seidenwand
Waterford - Charles A. Inama
Waterford - Christopher P. Lund
Watervliet - Brian E. Hall
Wayne - Dan F. Kimberlin
West Bloomfield - Bernard Muhammad
Williamston - Norman H. Gozalka
Wyoming - Jon M. Hendrickson 

Ypsilanti - Howard Portis

Adrian - Darwin L. Hukill
Alger - Leroy A. Oliver
Alpena - Phil C. Schultz 

Bay City - Brian F. Dugan
Berrien Springs - Jamie L. Stacey
Big Rapids - Jill E. Baker-Cooley
Brighton - Thomas J. Mora 

Cadillac - William T. Bartholomew
Caledonia - Conroy Zuiderveen
Cass City - Craig A. Weaver
Cheboygan - Lynwood Leightner Jr.
Concord - Charles T. Ewing
Crystal - Bruce E. Waldron Sr. 

Daggett - Michael P. Lyons
Davisburg - William J. Davis
DeWitt - Perry M. Costello 

Eaton Rapids - David E. Harns
Essexville - Robert J. Adamowski 

Flushing - Dennis L. Harland
Franklin - Fred Tenorio 

Galesburg - William W. Weese
Grand Blanc - Roy H. Linkowski 

Holland - Fred C. Schmitt 

Ionia - Kaye Breining 

Jackson - David L. Clouse
Jackson - Chuck D. Walters 

Kalamazoo - Willie B. Watson 

Lake Orion - Michael J. Callahan
Lansing - Michael R. Conlin
Lansing - David D. Shipman
Lewiston - Jim Hilgendorf 

Manistee - Jo L. Arnold
Marshall - Linda K. Hoover
Marysville - Thomas J. Ridas
Midland - Robert Baillie
Midland - Ken P. Beaudin
Midland - Eldon J. Dean
Midland - James A. Gillis
Monroe - Barry P. Little 

Nashville - Brian D. Pufpaff 

Okemos - Jay Marcotullio
Otisville - Douglas R. Fillmore 

Plymouth - Henry L. George Jr.
Portage - Mike T. Hinga  

Ravenna - Thomas C. Wright
Riverview - Ronald J. Barger
Rochester - Brian E. York
Rochester Hills - Fred B. Castelvetere 

Saginaw - Brian D. Wakeman
Sandusky - Alan DeMott
Shelby - Edmundo Flores
South Haven - Patrick J. Conroy
Southgate - Douglas M. Pastor
St. Clair Shores - Tom P. Frattini
St. Ignace - Donald P. Gustafson
St. Joseph - David J. Buck
St. Louis - Kathleen V. Hutfilz 

Toledo - Jon Everhart
Traverse City - Mark E. Stewart
Trenton - Daniel K. Whaley 

Wallace - Bruce A. Pearson
Waterford - Mark W. Richer
Westland - Robert W. Allen
White Cloud - Tony A. McHattie
Whitmore Lake - David L. Wint
Wyandotte - Thomas S. Palamara   

Ada - Bryan D. Cullens Jr.
Adrian - Judith A. Walter-Kohn
Albion - Raymond Drysdale
Alpena - David M. Kuznicki 

Battle Creek - Steven K. Higgs
Birmingham - Robert S. Stark
Britton - Kenneth W. Kormos
Brooklyn - Michael Timms
Burton - Patrick M. O'Reilly
Byron Center - Andrew J. DeVries 

Calumet - Bruce Coppo
Canton - Dennis J. Bostwick
Canton - Terry A. Wash
Carrollton - Ralph S. Gnotek
Chesterfield - Harold T. Younce 

Davison - James L. Eastman
Dearborn Heights - Lou Giroux 

East Leroy - James Alday 

Fenton - Martin R. Covert 

Grandville - Pat Folkertsma-Garrett
Grandville - Andrew J. Kovac
Grosse Pointe Park - Mike C. Dempsey 

Holland - Bruce E. Kruithoff
Holly - Paul W. Matson
Hudsonville - Allan J. Owens 

Lexington - Richard R. Hug
Livonia - Ann K. Hutchins

Macomb - Ronald L. Minoletti
Marquette - Leonard M. Angeli
Middleville - Bruce F. Bender
Milan - Brad D. Susterka
Mio - Edwin L. Cline
Monroe - Eric E. Jenkins
Mt. Pleasant - Dale P. Brecht
Mt. Pleasant - James R. MacLean II
Muskegon - Craig W. Weirich 

Newaygo - Dave Baldus
Norway - Milt J. Krznarich 

Petoskey - Edward L. Gunderson
Portage - Allan R. Thompson

Rives Junction - Dale A. Baum
Rochester Hills - Tom Delia Jr.
Royal Oak - Byron A. Photiades 

Saginaw - Ronald L. Dressler
Saugatuck - Catherine Dritsas
South Haven - Henry L. Allen
Swartz Creek - Larry L. Schutt 

Tawas City - Robert L. Ritsema
Troy - Kenyon D. Shively

Warren - Hugh R. Jewell
Waterford - Frederick A. Cohen
Wayland - Norman L. Taylor
Wyoming – H. Joseph Perrin   

Canton - Pamela G. Yockey 

Dryden - Louis W. Miramonti 

Grand Rapids - Robert J. Rodenhouse

Holt - Denny Fulk 

Jackson - Dennis K. Lautzenheiser

Lakeport - Donna H. Frohm
Lansing - Donald R. Murray
Lansing - Darwin S. Petersen 

Negaunee - Rodney J. Guizzetti Sr.

Portage - William H. Rapley Jr.

Spring Lake - Daniel L. Bouma 

Toledo - William J. Lauer

Warren - Dolores A. Marquis

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