One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for December 1, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
Last night on Monday Night Football I got to actually see two friends officiate the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. The NFL assigns a crew to officiate each game and a crew consists of a referee, umpire, head linesman, line judge, field judge, side judge, back judge. The referee is often referred to as the “White Hat”.
One of the referees in the NFL is Brad Allen who is from Lumberton, NC and a UNC Pembroke graduate. Brad’s crew is listed below and they called the game last night.
Number Name Hometown Yrs. NFL
122 Brad Allen Lumberton, N.C. 2
11 Fred Bryan South Minneapolis, Minn. 7
48 Jim Mello North Andover, Mass. 12
100 Tom Symonette Windermere, Fla. 12
67 Doug Rosenbaum Normal, Ill. 16
97 Tom Hill Hackettstown, N.J. 17
83 Shawn Hochuli Newport Beach, Calif. 2
Brad being a 1991 UNC Pembroke grad has been a great friend to our university in a number of different ways. He has a day job as Executive Director of the NC Senior Games. In 1983 N.C. Senior Games began with a vision to create a year-round health promotion and education program for North Carolinians 50 years of age and better. Today, there are over 60,000 participants in 53 Local Games programs across North Carolina 100 counties.
Brad as Executive Director has to oversee all of these events and he does that by being extremely organized. He is a great asset to our state.
Brad still lives in Lumberton, NC where he grew up. He and his wife Twilla have a daughter.
In 2007 I had to ask Brad to do me a big favor and he came thru admirably. In 2007 UNC Pembroke was starting football and I needed advice and volunteers related to the chain gang.
At that time Brad was calling Atlantic Coast Conference Football Games and was also a local high school supervisor of officials. He gave me and UNC Pembroke great guidance on what we needed with a chain gang and for our first two seasons was able to get me a great group of volunteers.
Brad is an example of hard work and perseverance. Early in his career while officiating a NCAA Division II game he learned he was being scouted by the NFL. He was scouted for 10 years including that stint at Division II and eventually the Atlantic Coast Conference before being selected to officiate in the NFL.
In March 2014 Brad got a call from the NFL to join the league. He actually replaced long time NFL official Mike Carey who left the league in 2014 to join CBS as an analyst.
He joined a crew that included a friend of mine from high school Tom Hill.
The Friend-BRAD ALLEN
The Friend of the Friend-TOM HILL
Straight out of Morristown NJ
Tom Hill was an outstanding high school athlete at Morristown High School (NJ). Tom and I are both graduates of Morristown High School. Tom is married and he and his wife Patty have two grown children Corey and Tyler.
Tom and his wife Patty shown below.
At Morristown HS Tom played high school baseball for Harry Shatel who was a legend in the ranks of high school coaches in New Jersey. Coach Shatel passed away in the spring of 2011.
Tom as a high school and college athlete was always consumed by getting better. He also got into umpiring and officiating at an early age and immediately out of college was calling lots of games in a number of different sports. Eventually he was calling college football and eventually the NFL Europe.
Tom and Patty both spent most of their adult lives in New Jersey. Several years ago they retired from teaching and moved to Ponce Inlet, FL which is located just below Daytona Beach, FL. That location was influenced by Coach Harry Shatel.
Tom and Patty while living in New Jersey were almost neighbors to my brother Pat in Hackettstown, NJ. My bother Pat lives in a landmark house on the corner of Schooley’s Mtn Rd and Flocktown Rd. down the street from the Hill’s old house.
My brother’s house below.
If you watch a NFL game the rest of the season keep your eye out for two great guys #122 Brad Allen and #97 Tom Hill. I am glad to call both of them friends.
Photo of Tom #97 and Brad #122 talking to former Chicago Bears Coach Marc Trestman.