Officials to receive 2020 Gardner and Ball awards
Slater, Wier to be honored by Indiana Basketball Coaches Association
Game officials Jay Slater and Gary Wier will be will be recognized with special awards for 2020 by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Slater and Wier will be honored as respective winners of the Roy Gardner and Mildred Ball awards as outstanding officials throughout long careers on the hardwood. The two officials are being cited for their work impacting the game floor, Slater from 1986 to present and Wier from 1981 to 2013.
Slater just completed his 34th year of officiating and has worked the boys’ basketball State Finals on four occasions and the girls’ basketball State Finals on four additional occasions. The Sullivan resident is a member of the Wabash Valley Officials Association, which he has served as president, a board member and the group’s baseball chairman.
Wier officiated for 32 seasons, including three times in the boys’ basketball State Finals and five times in the girls’ basketball State Finals. He was the winner of the 2013 Interscholastic Athletic Official Award for excellence in girls’ basketball. The Plainville resident is a past member of the Southwestern Officials Association, and he retired from officiating at the end of the 2012-13 season because of knee issues that ultimately prompted a knee replacement.
The Gardner Award is named after the late Roy Gardner, a Lawrenceburg native, Ball State graduate and former Batesville High School math teacher who worked three boys basketball State Finals and officiated in the Big Ten from 1959-69. He passed away in 1977, and the IBCA has presented an award in his name since 1978. Gardner was inducted into the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
The Ball Award is named after Mildred Morgan Ball, a graduate of Gary Roosevelt High School and Indiana University who served as an IHSAA assistant commissioner from 1977-97. During her time at the IHSAA, Ball was responsible for licensing and training of contest officials and also worked with the National Federation of High School Associations rules committee. The IBCA has presented an award in her name since 1997. She was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.
These awards typically are presented during the IBCA’s annual clinic during April, but this year’s clinic has been postponed from the original April 24-25 dates. The honorees will receive the awards at a date to be determined. For more information about the IBCA, go to www.ibcacoaches.com.
More information about each award winner follows. In addition, a list of winners for these awards follows the two biographries.
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2020 IBCA Roy Gardner Award
Congratulations to the Roy Gardner Award Winner: Jay Slater
Jay Slater of Sullivan is the winner of the 2020 Roy Gardner Award.
Slater is a 1976 graduate of Shakamak High School, where he played basketball and baseball. He later attended Heritage Environmental Institute.
Slater started his officiating career during the 1986-87 basketball season. Over 34 seasons, he has had the opportunity to work four boys’ basketball State Finals (2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017) and four girls’ basketball State Finals (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016). He also worked two Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Classic tournaments – the girls in 2003 and the boys in 2004.
Slater also is a football and baseball official. In football, he has officiated in two IHSAA championship games (Class 5A in 2014 and Class 6A in 2018) as well as the 2019 Indiana North-South All-Star Classic. In baseball, he has been voted the top district umpire five times by high school regional baseball coaches and has officiated in seven State Finals games (2007, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019).
Slater also has officiated at all levels of college baseball for the past 18 years and in the American Legion program. His previous American Legion tournament assignments include 24 years of state sectionals, 18 years of state regionals and six years of American Legion State Finals. He umpired in the Great Lakes National American Legion Regional seven times (2008 in Chillicothe, Ohio; 2010 in Mattoon, Ill.; 2011 and 2012 in Midland, Mich.; 2013 and 2014 in Terre Haute; and 2015 in Alton, Ill.).
Slater is a member of the Wabash Valley Officials Association. He previously served as a board member and president of the association. Slater has served as the baseball chair for the past 15 years and lead clinician for the past 12 baseball clinics. He credits his success to the great group of officials he has worked with and learned from over the years.
Professionally, Slater has worked for Sony in Terre Haute for more than 29 years. He currently is the Safety and Environmental Specialist at Sony.
His hobbies include playing drums for his worship team at Abundant Grace House of Prayer in Sullivan and supporting his favorite sports teams – the Indiana Hoosiers, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Bears.
Slater notes that he would not have been able to accomplish what he has in officiating without the love and support of his wife, Cindy. The couple has two adult children – Heather and Ashlee. They also have seven grandchildren – Kate, Addie, Ridge, Sadie, Charlee, Lexi and Quinn.
2020 IBCA Mildred Ball Award
Congratulations to the Mildred Ball Award Winner: Gary Wier
Gary Wier of Plainville is the winner of the 2020 Mildred Ball Award.
Wier officiated boys basketball and girls basketball for 32 years. During his officiating career, he worked 17 sectionals, 11 regionals, six semi-states and three State Finals in the boys’ tournament (2003, 2007 and 2010). On the girls’ side, he worked 21 sectionals, 16 regionals, eight semi-states and five State Finals (1999, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012).
He was the recipient of the 2013 Interscholastic Athletic Official Award for excellence in the sport of girls’ basketball. He is a past member of the Southwestern Official Association. Knee issues and a subsequent knee replacement prompted Wier’s retirement as a basketball official in 2013.
Wier is a 1978 graduate of Shakamak High School, where he excelled in basketball – at one-time holding the school record of 1,206 points – and competed in track & field. He went on to Rend Lake Junior College, competing in basketball there and graduating in 1981.
He has been employed with the Indiana State Police since 1988.
Wier and his wife, Jill, have been married for 35 years. Jill Wier, who works in health care, officiated volleyball for 35 years; for 11 years, Gary and Jill officiated volleyball together. The couple has one son, Mitch, 30, a former U.S. Marine who has been employed with the Indiana State Police since 2014.
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IBCA officiating award winners
IBCA/ROY GARDNER AWARD
Roy Gardner was a basketball official who was a math teacher for 34 years at Batesville High School. He coached basketball at Westland, Rising Sun and Batesville as well as track, baseball and golf at Batesville, with his teams capturing numerous championships. As an official, Gardner worked the 1955, 1956 and 1959 State Finals. He also officiated in the Big Ten from 1959 through 1969, and he called the East-West College All-Star Games in Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1968 and 1969. Gardner was born in 1919 in Lawrenceburg, lettered in basketball and track at Ball State University and passed away in 1977. He was inducted into the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. The IBCA has presented an award to an outstanding basketball official in Roy Gardner’s name since 1978.
1978: Lowell Smith, Palmyra
1979: Wayne Van Sickle, Richmond
1980: Troy Ingram, Richmond
1981: Jerry Larrison, Indianapolis
1982: John Lozier, Logansport
1983: Rich Boer, Gary
1984: Jim Wehsollek, Alexandria
1985: Jerry Petro, Franklin
1986: Roger DeYoung, Hebron
1987: Jesse Lynch, Indianapolis
1988: Bob Marcinek, East Chicago
1989: Melvin Redmond, Mt. Vernon
1990: Steve Cherry, Pendleton
1991: no award given
1992: Richard Cook, Michigan City
1993: Jim Cox, Jonesboro
1994: Mike Bohan, Brownsburg
1995: Bill Wulner, Lawrenceburg
1996: Bob Beeson, Elkhart
1997: Jerry Cook, Elkhart
1998: Norm Hathcoat, Pendleton
1999: Steve Fisher, Poseyville
2000: Rick Owens, Lynn
2001: Larry Maxwell, Martinsville
2002: Larry Jones, Logansport
2003: Bill Nimnicht, Evansville
2004: Jimmy Dimitroff, Indianapolis
2005: Garry Leistner, Dubois
2006: Ken Gorrell, Franklin
2007: Jerry Taylor, Lafayette
2008: James Dunlap, Newburgh
2009: Don Nester, Indianapolis
2010: Larry Nixon, Veedersburg
2011: Mark Baltz, Zionsville
2012: Bob Anderson, Indianapolis, and Ray Tebbe, New Palestine
2013: Mike Waisnora, Crown Point
2014: Terry Magnuson, Greenwood
2015: Rex Nichols, Mooresville
2016: Jason Ferguson, Whiteland
2017: Tom Rohr, Montezuma
2018: Tom Walters, Indianapolis
2019: Mike Eason, Cumberland
2020: Jay Slater, Sullivan
IBCA/MILDRED BALL AWARD
Mildred Morgan Ball served as an IHSAA assistant commissioner from 1977 through 1997, responsible for the licensing and training of contest officials. In addition, she worked with the National Federation of State High School Associations’ rules committee. Ball is a 1953 graduate of Gary Roosevelt High School and a 1960 graduate of Indiana University. She was a teacher at East Chicago Washington High School before joining the IHSAA staff. She was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. The IBCA has presented an award to an outstanding basketball official in Mildred Ball’s name since 1997.
1997: Theresia Wynns, Indianapolis
1998: Sue Ross, Fort Wayne
1999: Judy Schneider, Indianapolis
2000: Mike Crouch, Marion
2001: Tim Smith, Mentone
2002: Rhonda McGee, Floyds Knobs
2003: Rosie Leedy, Thorntown
2004: Barbara Guhl, Indianapolis
2005: Greta Hawvermale, Indianapolis
2006: Patty Broderick, Indianapolis
2007: John Patterson, Indianapolis
2008: Gene Butts, Warsaw
2009: Kim Yelich, Schererville
2010: Judy Phillips, Indianapolis
2011: Kelly Dennis, Whiteland
2012: Roger Holder, Greenfield
2013: Mike Smith, New Palestine
2014: Phil Vidito, Indianapolis
2015: Jay Smith, Syracuse
2016: Bob Frye, Indianapolis
2017: Larry Sintz, Brookville
2018: Michael Zehr, Dubois
2019: Andy Simpson, Crown Point
2020: Gary Wier, Plainville