The 2012-13 IHSA Officials of the Year at the IHSA Officials Conference in Peoria.
Dave Yockey, Football
Dave Yockey’s officiating career began with intramural basketball while he was in still in high school and has continued with a decorated IHSA career in football and baseball that has spanned over three decades. He was especially influenced by Guy Gardner, the intramural director at his high school and a trio of respected officials from his hometown of Monticello: Ed Norfleet, Bill Mitze and Dwight Wilkey.
Dave’s crew worked the Class 3A Football State championship game in 2009 and he has also worked the baseball state finals twice in his career. He has worked numerous postseason games in both sports, as well as seven IESA baseball state tournaments.
Dave continues to reside in Monitcello, where he is semi-retired. He enjoys church, history and travel, as well as spending time with his brother and two sisters and their families.
Jeff Plack, Boys Swimming & Diving
Jeff Plack was a four-year letterwinner in swimming at Illinois State University and the Peoria native was looking for a way to stay involved in the sport upon graduation. He followed the lead of his brother, Joe, a respected IHSA swim official, and has now officiated IHSA swim meets for over 25 years.
Jeff’s accomplishments as an official include serving as the Referee at the 2004 IHSA Boys State Meet and being named the 2013 Illinois Swimming Officials Association Boys Official of the Year. He has also served as a Sectional ref, and a starter or diving referee at the state meet for over 30 years.
Jeff and his wife Patti have been married for 28 years and have three daughters: Laura, Eliane and Claire. The Plack’s reside in Glenview and Jeff serves as the CFO for the National Collegiate Scouting Association.
Robert Richter, Girls Swimming & Diving
Becoming an IHSA official was an easy decision for Robert Richter. After a swimming career of his own that ranged from youth park district to competing collegiately, his daughters were beginning to gravitate to the pool and officiating allowed him to stay active twofold.
Robert has been assigned to work the IHSA State Final meet as a Starter 10 times, including six times at the Girls State Finals. He has also had numerous state assignments as a Meet Referee, Diving Referee, Timer and Finish Judge. A two-time NFHS Official of the Year, Robert has also been honored by the Illinois Swimming Officials Association.
Robert is a retired after a career in air transportation for the U.S. Postal Service. He and his wife Joyce reside in Northbrook and enjoy spending time with their three daughters: Susan, Sandra and Lori and their seven grandchildren.
Tim Reger, Boys Soccer
One of Tim Reger’s favorite parts of being an IHSA official is the camaraderie shared among fellow officials one and off the field. Tim has enjoyed that camaraderie on the soccer field for over 25 years, including working eight state finals thus far in his career.
Tim serves as a rule interpreter for the IHSA and has also officiated soccer for the NISOA and USSF. He received his first Regional in 1990 and annually works s IHSA matches for both the girls and boys soccer state series.
Tim and his wife Ann, who is a soccer coach, have four children: Emma, Owen, Colm and Liam, whose activities include swimming, hockey and soccer. They reside in Northfield and Tim works as an Account Relationship Director for the tax service company KPMG.
Peter Stavropoulos, Girls Soccer
The love of the game is what has kept Peter Stavropoulos involved in soccer as an official. He played in college and then coached his children, but after starting a youth program, found there was a lack of officials and helped fill the void.
Peter has officiated in six IHSA Soccer State Finals, including three Girls finals. He is a member of six high school and collegiate officials associations, including the GCC. The 2008 NFHS Official of the Year in Illinois is also an assignor and has been a part of the Illinois Soccer Referee Committee for over 25 years.
Peter works as a Technical Services Manager for Steamgard, LLC and he and his wife Cathy reside in Vernon Hills. They have three sons: Nicholas, Alexander and Steven and two grandchildren. Soccer remains a family affair, as all three of Peter and Cathy’s sons are IHSA soccer officials.
Judy Stark, Girls Volleyball
Judy Stark began officiating volleyball in college to gain further insight into her impending career as a high school teacher and a coach. After her coaching career ended, she returned to officiating and has quickly ascended to being one the state’s most respected volleyball officials.
The Benton resident is a member of Southern Illinois Sports Officials Association and worked her first state tournament as a line judge in 2009. She returned to the state finals in 2011 and 2012, where she was selected to work as a floor official.
Judy has worked as a teacher at Benton High School for 29 years and retired from coaching in 1997.
Judy and her partner Stephanie Taylor have one son, Matthew, and two grandchildren. When she is not spending time with her family, she enjoys traveling and golf.
Kathy Diamond, Boys Volleyball
Kathy Diamond’s progression through the sport she loves, volleyball, started as a player, continued as a coach and has now culminated as an official. After becoming an IHSA official in 1998, she quickly rose through the ranks, as she was assigned to her first state final tournament in 2008.
Thus far in her career, Kathy has represented the Suburban Volleyball Officials Association in a total of seven state tournaments, including four boys volleyball state finals. She also officiates collegiately for the NCAA and NAIA, as well as for USA Volleyball.
Kathy and her husband Patrick reside in Woodridge and have three sons: James, Jack and Thomas. They enjoy watching their sons compete in track & cross country and Kathy also holds volleyball related positions with the DuPage Parochial Volleyball League and St. Scholastica School.
Tina Butterbrodt, Cross Country
The encouragement of long-time IHSA official Tony Thorsen, who passed away in 2010, is what initially brought Tina Butterbrodt into the officiating fold and the encouragement and support of many great officials see met along the way has been what has kept her going.
Tina has worked all levels of the IHSA State Series in both cross country and track & field, including serving as the Starter at the Class 1A Girls Cross Country State Final race in 2010. An IHSA clinician in track & field, Tina also annually works the track state meet for the IESA.
Tina and her husband Chuck reside in Dwight, where she works as a Special Education Administrator for the Livingston County Special Services Unit. She stays active in golf and running, as well as supporting her children, Chloe and Carter, as they participate in activities.
Tricia Peabody, Competitive Cheerleading
While staying home to raise her children, Tricia Peabody found herself in search of a part-time position to be involved in. She took her love and knowledge of cheerleading to do just that, as she became an IHSA official in 2005, and has been one of the state’s best ever since.
Tricia was assigned to judge the state finals in 2007, the second year of the IHSA State Series, and she has worked five of the first eight state meets conducted by the IHSA. She was named the NFHS Official of the Year for Illinois in 2012 and also began officiating for the ICCA in 2007.
Tricia and her husband Rick reside in Sycamore, and she also serves as the head cheerleading coach at neighboring DeKalb High School. Tricia and Rick have two children, Kate and Taylor, and will welcome baby number three in October.
Elizabeth Gray, Girls Gymnastics
Encouragement from her coaches after her gymnastics career ended is what brought Elizabeth Gray to the IHSA as a gymnastics official in 1978.
Elizabeth has worked the IHSA Girls Gymnastics State Finals nine times in her career, in addition to numerous Regional and Sectional meets. She is a member of the Illinois High School Girls Gymnastics Judges Association and was named the NFHS Official of the Year for Illinois in 1991.
Elizabeth resides in Carol Stream and teaches mathematics at Willowbrook High School. She was Willowbrook’s head girls gymnastics coach from 1993 to 2009 and takes great pride in the fact that many of her former gymnasts have gone on to become officials.
Elizabeth is the proud Aunt of seven nieces and nephews and volunteers with the National Forest Service in Colorado in the summer. She has run several marathons and won her division in a stair-climbing race at the Empire State Building.
Richard Cromwell, Boys Gymnastics
Richard Cromwell enjoyed a Hall of Fame career competing in gymnastics for the University of Illinois-Chicago in the late 70’s and has now been an IHSA Gymnastics official for nearly 30 years.
After first licensing in 1986, Richard worked his way up the ladder and was assigned to work his first state final meet in 1993. That first appearance started an incredible run of state final appearances for Richard, as he has worked the state meet every year since, equaling 21 total and consecutive appearances as a boys gymnastics state final judge.
A resident of Berkley, Richard was also named the IHSA Official of the Year in 2012. Reflecting on officiating, Richard cites that he enjoys the hard work by the student-athletes and the camaraderie of the officials, who may not always agree, but ultimately work together and the produce a score that is fair and right.
Ken Wilcoxen, Boys Basketball
Ken Wilcoxen has officiating in his bloodlines, as his father, Larry, is one of 61 officials from around the country who has been inducted into the NFHS High School Hall of Fame.
Ken has officiated basketball and football for over 35 years for the IHSA, combining to work nine state finals, including 22 Sectionals, 11 Super-Sectionals two state finals in boys basketball. He is a member of the Kewanee and Rock River Officials Associations and was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ken has served as teacher and coach for over 30 years and is currently employed by the Bureau Valley School District in Manlius. He and his wife Sally reside in Princeton and have four children: Kris, Anna, Johnna, and Lindsay, as well as one grandchild. He has worked for the Walnut Park District in the summer for nearly 40 years and is an avid golfer and Chicago sports fan.
Sharon Brosius, Girls Basketball
Sharon Brosius was a three-sport athlete at Northern Illinois University, where she participated in volleyball, basketball and softball and all three sports carried over into her IHSA officiating career as well.
Sharon holds the rare distinction of working the state finals in all three sports as well, including the Class 3A/4A Girls Basketball State Finals in 2008. She is a member of the S-S-O-A, ZONI and J-V-O and also previously served on the IHSA Officials Conference committee.
Sharon rose rapidly through the ranks of several accounting positions after college and then was a stay at home mom once she and her husband Edward welcomed their daughter Jenny. She continues to work as the volleyball assignor for around 40 schools in the south suburbs of Chicago. She enjoys family travel to Michigan and Arizona, dogs and stays active in golf and biking.
Ron Coit, Wrestling
Ron Coit was talked into becoming an IHSA wrestling official by a fellow official, Chuck Paxton, whose son was a high school friend of Ron’s. The move ultimately paid dividends for Ron and countless high school wrestlers in Illinois.
Ron has combined to work the IHSA Wrestling State Finals 14 times, including the individual tournament eight times and the dual team tourney on six occasions. He has also worked the state meets for the IESA and IKFW, as well as being honored with induction into the IWCOA Hall of Fame.
Ron and his wife Kaye reside in Farmer City, where they raised three daughters: Melissa, Melinda and Sara. They have also welcomed a trio of grandsons. Ron worked in the engineering department for The Eureka Company for over 30 years and is currently employed by the City of Bloomington’s Parks and Rec department.
Bruce Weiman, Boys Track & Field
For nearly 20 years, Bruce Weiman directed a youth sports camp in Lewistown and during that time he decided to take an officiating course at a local junior college to better prepare himself for the position. He enjoyed the experience and a few years later became a track official at the urging of a friend and fellow official.
Bruce’s career as a track & field and cross country official have included working the IHSA track & field state finals for over 30 years. Much of that time was spent working as an umpire or clerk of the course, but he has also served as an Assistant Starter at the state meet. Bruce is a member of the ITCCOA and was selected to serve as the Honorary Referee at the Girls State track meet in 2011
Bruce and his wife Debbie reside in Bowen and have one daughter, Katie. Bruce serves as the pastor at Living Faith United Methodist Church in southeastern Hancock County.
Peter Tucker, Girls Track & Field
As a teacher at Highland High School, Peter Tucker was asked by Athletic Director Brad Hyre to assist in starting home track meets. While working Highand’s meets, he met and was mentored by several good officials, including John Wehmeier, which led to him becoming licensed by the IHSA in 1996.
Peter has worked the IHSA track & field state finals since 1994 and has been a regular working Sectional meets since 1996. He has served as a timer, clerk and field referee both state meets and was the Referee at the Girls Spring Spectacular in 2012.
Peter and his wife Theresa reside in Highland and have one daughter, Kristine. They welcomed their first grandchild in 2010. Peter has retired from teaching, but stays active by repairing and installing computer systems, as well woodworking and watching sports.
Gary Taylor, Baseball
A lifelong high school sports fan, Gary Taylor first got involved in officiating as a basketball referee for the IHSA in late 1970’s, but then put officiating on the backburner to enjoy his own children’s playing careers. After his children finished school, he was reinvigorated to officiate and dedicated himself to advancing as far as he could.
In baseball, his dedication took him to the Class 1A/2A Baseball State Finals in 2010, while he has also worked Sectionals in basketball. Gary is a member of the Rock River Officials Association and also umpires Little League, Pony and American Legion Baseball.
Gary has worked as a design draftsmen for Pentair Valves and Controls in Geneseo for over 35 years. He resides in Morrison and he and his wife Laurie have four children: Jason, Zachary, Carlene and Mackenzie, as well as four grandchildren.
Cori Smith, Softball
Cori Smith has had sports in her blood ever since she was a little girl and called herself the “biggest tom boy ever” growing up. She played sports with her older and went on to be the president of the GAA at her high school, which was the precursory organization to the IHSA for athletic opportunities for female high school athletes.
She stayed involved in athletics in every way possible and naturally gravitated to officiating, as she licensed with the IHSA in softball and volleyball in 1991. She has achieved certified status in both sports and was selected to work the Class 1A/2A Softball State Finals in 2012. She has also worked the Super-Sectional level in Girls Volleyball.
A native of Clinton, Cori has two daughters: Heather and Meghan and two grandchildren. She has also officiated for the YMCA and ASA, as well as the NSA, who inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 2011.
Ed Prystalski, Water Polo
Ed Prystalski was looking to give back to the sport of water polo and help it grow in Illinois when he signed up to become an IHSA official in 2006. He has done more than his share during that time, as he has risen to become one of the state’s top officials in the pool.
Ed has officiated IHSA Sectionals for the past seven years and worked the State Final tournament four times. He has served on the IHSA Water Polo Advisory Committee and also officiates for American Water Polo, USA Water Polo and the Collegiate Water Polo Association. Ed was also named the Developmental Referee of the Year by USA Water Polo in 2009.
Ed resides in Chicago and is an avid golfer. He is the owner of Lakeview Environmental & Construction Company.