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Terry Wakeley Receives 2007 Norris Award

Jim Hastings Photography, Haslett, Mich.

EAST LANSING, Mich.  – May 14 – A servant-leader of 40-plus years to interscholastic athletics as a referee, recruiter of referees and educator of officials, Terry Wakeley (above, middle) of Grayling is the recipient of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Vern L. Norris Award for 2007.

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 (above left), who was executive director of the MHSAA from 1978-86, and well-respected by officials on the state and national levels.  Wakely was presented the award at the MHSAA’s 28th annual Officials’ Awards and Alumni Banquet on Saturday (May 12) at the Lansing Sheraton Hotel. To the right of Wakeley is current MHSAA Executive Director John E. "Jack" Roberts.

In his 42nd year as a registered MHSAA official, Wakeley has worked baseball, basketball and football games at the high school level, earning assignments in championship games on the hardwood and the gridiron.  His contributions to educational athletics and officiating, however, transcend the working of title games.

Wakeley is active with the North Central Officials Association and Superior Officials Association.   He has served the NCOA as the organization’s President and Treasurer, and is currently a trainer and assignor for the Association.  He took a leadership role in the training of three-person officiating crews in basketball.

It might be in the recruiting and teaching of young officials where Wakeley has made his mark.  Numerous adults launched their officiating careers because of his encouragement, and he has also introduced high school students to officiating through the MHSAA’s Legacy Program. 

The Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan inducted Wakeley into its Hall of Fame in 2001, and he has received service awards from Houghton Lake and Mio High Schools.

In the community, Wakeley has officiated everything from youth football to adult softball and basketball games, is a volunteer for the Michigan Special Olympics and the Grayling Youth Booster Club.  He was nominated for the Norris Award by Houghton Lake High School.

“Those who know Terry Wakeley best know that he gives his all at every game, that he has been a tireless promoter of the avocation of officiating, and that when he steps on the playing surface, they can relax in knowing that the game will be administered in a fair manner,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA.  “Perhaps what makes Terry stand out is that he is truly, by anyone’s standards, a teacher-official. 

He has made his mark in seizing every moment in a game or scrimmage as a teachable one; whether that is with  an up-and-coming official or a student-athlete.  Our games are better because of his contributions, and he is an outstanding selection for the Norris Award.”

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

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,800 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 approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.



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