State Stories


2017 Boys Track & Field Honorary Referees

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The following individuals will be honored for their contributions to the sport of high school track & field in Illinois as the 2017 IHSA Boys Track & Field Honorary Referees at the Spring Spectacular on Saturday, May 27, 2017:

Kevin Dooley was a three-year varsity track & field athlete at Alton High School under legendary coach Jim Wigger, where he helped the Redbirds win the IHSA State Championship in 1969 and earn trophies in 1970 and 1971.

Like his former coach, Kevin has gone on to become an IHSA legend in his own right. Kevin has now been involved with high school track & field in Illinois for 50 years, including 30 consecutive years spent as the high jump official at the IHSA Boys State Final Meet and 36 seasons as a high school coach.

After a record-setting high jump career at SIU-Edwardsville, Kevin began coaching at Centralia High School. He then began teaching and coaching at Waterloo High School, where he spent the next 34 years as the head track & field coach. Over 100 of his athletes qualified for state, including a pair of state champions, while his track teams earned three Sectional crowns and a trio of conference titles. Kevin also spent a decade as the Bulldogs cross country coach, while coaching soccer at the school as well.

High school sports has been a family affair for the Dooleys, as Kevin’s wife Julie was the softball coach at Gibault for many years, and his daughter Kelly earned All-State honors this fall in volleyball playing at Gibault.

The son of the 1937 Drake Relays Pole Vault Champion, Mike Gibbs ran track at Oak Park-River Forest High School and was an IHSA state qualifier in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays in 1980. As a four-year letter winner at Loras College, he competed in four Drake Relays himself, qualifying for indoor nationals in the distance medley relay.

In 1986, while assisting the officials at the Oak Park Relays, then IHSA State Finals meet manager, Roy Gummerson invited Mike to join the officiating crew for the Boys State Finals meet at Eastern Illinois University. As Mike celebrates his 30th consecutive state meet, he remains proud that he is the last official appointed to the state meet by Gummerson.

During his thirty years at the Spring Spectacular, Mike has executed the duties of Assistant Clerk of the Course, Assistant Referee, Starter and is currently Head Clerk of the Course overseeing eighteen officials in the clerk's tent.

A USATF certified official, Mike has worked as the assistant starter at the University of Illinois, while serving as the home starter at the University of Notre Dame for the last twelve years, in addition to clerk duties at this year's ACC indoor meet in South Bend. Other officiating highlights include posts at the 1996 NCAA nationals, Patriot League Outdoor Conference Championships, and the Patriot League Conference indoor championships hosted by the United States Naval Academy.

Mike is appreciative of the support his wife Sally, and twin daughters Abby and Molly, have provided him in officiating, while allowing him to spend every Memorial Day weekend since 1987 in Charleston.

Jack Herschbach’s first track & field meet came as a junior high competitor in 1963 and he has been in love with the sport ever since.

He became a high school track & field coach in 1976 and hasn’t missed a boys’ state final meet since, while his attendance streak as a coach or official at the IHSA Girls Track & Field State Finals has been going strong since 1989. Herschbach spent over three decades coaching at Chester High School, and after retiring from teaching, took on the head coaching position at Christ Our Savior Lutheran High School in Evansville, Illinois.

He has spent every year since 1989 working as a high jump official at the state meet, while he also officiates at the junior high and collegiate levels. A respected figure in Illinois high school track & field, Jack represented his peers while serving a term on the IHSA track & field advisory committee.
His coaching philosophy was to try and develop competitive teams, but overall he “wanted his athletes to enjoy the sport,” and cherishes the relationships he has developed with the athletes, coaches, and officials he has worked with throughout the years.

He is especially thankful to his children (Christopher, Timothy, and Molly) for the sacrifices they have made to allow him to pursue his passion coaching and officiating track & field.