FAIRHOPE — Twelve major contributors to sports officiating in Alabama, including longtime Baldwin sports official Joe Manjone of Fairhope, have been selected to be inducted into the inaugural Class of the Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held next week, Aug. 24, at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Alabama Sports Officials Foundation spokesman Greg Brewer announced the members of the first class.
The 12 inductees are: Paul Andzrejewski, Ronnie Baynes, Ormond Brown, Dick Burleson, Mary Day, Ray Gargus, Walter Garrett, Apple Kridakorn, Joe Manjone, Bob Patrick, Sam Short and Bobby Skelton. The inductees include individuals who have varied officiating backgrounds – from high school to college and professional sports. The individuals have played important roles in training and developing contest officials in Alabama as well as mentoring and raising the level of consistency and professionalism in the state. The selections by a special ASOF Hall of Fame Committee from nominations submitted.
Manjone, a native of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, began officiating soccer as a teenager and has been involved in the sport as an official and administrator for more than 50 years. His influence in the sport has been far reaching – spanning most of the nation and two continents.
In Alabama, his service stretches over more than 30 years. The AHSAA Soccer Director and former National Federation of State High Schools Association Soccer Rules Committee Chair has served the AHSAA in numerous soccer roles from officiating to rules interpreter. He has officiated a variety of sports including basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, wrestling, cross country, track and his specialty, soccer. He has worked at the high school and college level calling women’s sports in the SEC, ECAC, SIAC and AIAW.
Manjone received the NFHS’s prestigious Citation for Officials in 2017, which is presented annually to only one contest official nationwide. He attended Penn State University, graduating in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree. He later earned additional education degrees from the University of Georgia and Penn State.
A former college president who serves as rules editor for Referee Magazine, he was inducted into the NISOA Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2018. He also received the NISOA 1995 Officials Recognition Award; the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award (2010); The NFHS Sports Officials Contributor Award (2012); and in 2017, the Continuing Education Center at Columbia Southern University renamed the facility the Dr. Joseph Manjone Center.
Also notable in this group are Short, who was inducted into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame in 2007; Baynes and Skelton, two standout college athletes who moved through the ranks of officiating to become two of the top officials in the NFL. Baynes was awarded the NFL’s prestigious Art McNally Award in 2011. Burleson balanced officiating with his military career, where he rose to the rank of Major General, and Garrett, one of the AHSAA’s top basketball officials for three decades, still holds the national prep record for points scored in a high school basketball game (97) when scoring all his team’s points.
The ASOF was founded by five current and/or retired Alabama sports officials. These Board Members are David Bell, Greg Brewer, Burkles Davis, Jeff Hilyer and Robert Lose. Additional board members include Craig Kelley, Craig Cleveland, Mark Wehrwein and Wanda Weeks.
For more on the other inductees, visit AHSAA.com.