Roy Gardner Award

Roy Gardner Men's Official of the Year - 2016 (Complete Historical List Below)


 Jason Ferguson Jason Ferguson of Whiteland is the winner of the 2016 Roy Gardner Award.

After an ACL injury sidelined Ferguson from playing basketball at Franklin College, his interest turned to officiating. “I still wanted to stay involved in the game in some way,” says Ferguson. “Officiating allowed me to do that.” He became licensed in both basketball and volleyball in 1994.

In his 22-year officiating career, Ferguson has worked 14 girls’ basketball sectionals, nine girls’ basketball regionals and two girls’ basketball semi-states. On the boys’ side, he has worked 17 sectionals, 13 regionals, four semi-states and one state championship (the 2013 Class A game).

Ferguson’s love of football, and the encouragement of many gridiron officiating friends, led to him getting involved in that sport as well during the 1998-99 season. He worked his way around the field, eventually landing as referee of a crew. They called the Class A State Championship game in 2013.

Over the years, Ferguson has enjoyed officiating regular-season volleyball matches. He did that for 11 seasons, from 1998 to 2008. He also has called women’s college basketball games at the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA levels.

Ferguson has been a member of the Indiana Officials Association since 1995-96 and was active in the Mid-Hoosier Officials Association from 1997-2006.

After being diagnosed with bone cancer in May 2014, Ferguson was sidelined from officiating while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He received a stem-cell transplant in September 2014 and, just six weeks later, returned to the football field to officiate. He didn’t miss a single basketball game that season.

“The desire to get out there again, to call a game with my fellow officials, my friends, really helped in my recovery from cancer,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson is thankful to the men who stood in for him on his crew during the games he missed that football season, and to all those who reached out to offer prayer and support for him and his family.

Ferguson proudly received the IOA’s President’s Award in 2015. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the IOA. It recognizes a member who displays leadership qualities, represents the association professionally and serves its membership to the fullest.

When not on the court or the field, Ferguson often is on the sidelines watching his “home” team play. All of his sons – Cole (16), Chase (14), Cooper (7) and Cody (5) – play basketball in the Whiteland school system. Chase also plays football, while Cooper and Cody play Little League baseball.

Ferguson is a graduate of Columbus North High School, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Franklin College. It was there where he met his wife, Brenda.

Ferguson is employed by Cummins Engine Co.




Year Official Hometown/School
1978 Lowell Smith Palmyra
1979 Wayne VanSickle 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 Melvn Redmond Mt. Vernon
1990 Steve Cherry Pendleton
1991 No Award  
1992 Richard Cook Michigan City
1993 Jim Cox Jonesboro
1994 Mike Bohan Brownsburg
1995 Bill Wullner Lawrenceburg
1996 Bob Beeson Elkhart
1997 Jerry Cook Elkhart
1998 Norm Hathcoat Pendleton
1999 Steve Fisher North Posey
2000 Rick Owens Lynn
2001 Larry Maxwell Martinsville
2002 Larry Jones Logansport
2003 Bill Nimnicht Evansville
2004 Jimmy Dimitroff Indianapolis
2005 Gary Leistner Dubois
2006 Ken Gorrell Southwestern/Ball State
2007 Jerry Taylor Lafayette
2008 James Dunlap Decker Chapel (S.Knox)
2009 Don Nester Cathedral Graduate
2010 Larry Nixon Western Indiana
2011 Mark Baltz Ohio University
2012 Bob Anderson Walter Johnson HS (MD)- Purdue
  Ray Tebbe  Batesville HS - Ball State
2013  Mike Waisnora Munster - Purdue
2014  Terry Magnuson LaVille - Butler
2015  Rex Nichols Mooresville
2016  Jason Ferguson Columbus


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