Bob Williams, an official in the Detroit area for 41 years, will receive the Vern Norris Award from the Michigan High School Athletic Association on April 30 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.
Williams is low-keyed. When he’s officating a game it’s the game you notice, not him. The best officials are the ones you don’t notice and Williams is one of those types. He does his job without calling attention to himself.
But what makes Williams such a good official, and deserving of this award, is his work away from the court. Williams began the Metro Detroit Officials Association and the Officials For Kids Program in the metro area. Williams is into mentoring, an area of officiating sorely needed now that the girls and boys basketball seasons coincide. Good officials are seemingly harder and harder to find and Williams is one guy looking to improve upon this situation.
Williams has worked with the Wonderland Officials Association and the Metro Detroit Officials Association in an effort to educate officials through clinics and other teaching methods.
The 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. Williams has earned this award through hard work, dedication and passion, and he’s done this by putting his profession first, and his ego last.