WCOA Hall of Fame

2017 Inductees:

2016 Inductees:


Clem Brooks Football/Basketball Official

H. Mackay once quoted, “Do what you love, love what you do, and deliver more than you promise. As we reflect upon the life of Clement O. Brooks, better known as Clem, we can see that he most assuredly did what he loved, loved what he did and delivered more than he promised.

Clem Brooks was born in Edgecomb County, North Carolina to the late Mr. and Mrs. Lee Cully Brooks. He has two sons, Clem Jr., and Anthony, and is married to Sheila Stevenson Brooks.

After graduating from high school, Clem enlisted in the United States Air Force and garnered a career with 22 years. After leaving the Air Force, Clem worked with the airlines industry until retirement in 2008. Also, during this time, Clem worked as a football and basketball official in the Hillsborough/Pinellas Counties for over 50 years and was recently inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. In 2009, Clem had the special privilege of working the Super Bowl here in Tampa as a side-line chain official. Clem presently works for the Doubletree Hotel.

Clem is a member of Beulah Baptist Church where he is a Deacon and sings with the Male Chorus. He also works with the youth and serves as a mentor.

Clem knows there is no greater joy or greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life. He expresses the strength, wisdom, and love of God as he lends a helping hand to others untireingly.

Richard Calhoun Basketball Official

Before WCOA:

Like many others, I played for years from 7th grade through senior year high school. Although I did not strike fear into many opponents, it did give me a background to work intramural sports in college. My senior year, I scheduled officials for all games.

As Recreation and Parks Director in Plant City from 1975 to 2004, I over saw the youth basketball program that grew to over 500 kids playing in three gyms. In the first few years, I recruited all officials, scorekeepers, coaches, players, and even swept out on occasion.

WCOA:

I started officiating in 1982 in JV ball. I got a good idea of what it is like to leave work and fight rush hour traffic across the county for early games. That time sensitive fact was never lost on me in later years.

Like everyone else I started working varsity games in the smaller Christian and public schools. My game got better, but I realized no one would know that until I got a chance to work with better people in better games. Being seen and rated is key to advancing for newer officials.

  • Worked varsity games from mid-1980’s through 2004
  • Served two terms on WCOA Basketball Committee in charge of ratings.
  • To encourage varsity officials to fill out evaluation cards, I started drawing one card every meeting to win two dinners to local restaurants.
  • To encourage JV officials to request evaluation from person working the varsity game behind them, I also drew a card out of the pile for some JV grub. Food is an incentive. The number of cards turned in went up nearly 300%.
  • I always liked the half-day clinics. While moving up, it was a good time to ask questions. As a clinician, it was a good time to talk about nuts and bolts situations you will encounter before games, on the court, and at home.
  • I have no idea how many District and Regional games I participated in, but I do know I worked five State Finals. Throwing the ball up on the last one was something I will always remember.

For an official, there is one call that will set the tone of the game. Generally, it comes in the first two or three minutes. Get that call right and your confidence goes up and respect for you is set.

Also, for a subordinate official, early in your varsity career, there is a pivotal time that you are called on to grab the game. For whatever reason, the burden falls on you. That is the time you must step up and take charge. That game can make you or set you back. This is the time to show you have arrived.

We all know you have only one or two other friends in the gym. They are dressed just like you and on the floor. Over the years, it was my honor and privilege to work with some on the finest officials in the state. They made me better and it was also my honor and obligation to pass those lessons on.

Jim Eckler Basketball Official
  • Officiated 14 years in Kentucky as a member of the Bluegrass Basketball Association
    • Received KHSAA officiating award from 1980 – 1994 for dedicated services rendered.
    • Attended a Don Rutledge college 3-crew officiating camp in Kentucky in 1994 prior to moving to Florida
  • Moved to Florida in 1994, unable to locate information on how to join an association, drove to Gainesville, found the nearest school, got directions, drove to FHSAA office, registered, and obtained Jim Drapp’s phone number.
  • Before joining the WCOA, as I missed the first meeting, located a scrimmage at Armwood, with Tom Judge and Pat Fleming as instructors, the class being all newbies.
    • They asked for volunteers and I was first, working with the two newbies in their rotations.
    • Tom said he noticed that I had officiated before and would I mind being on the floor for the entire scrimmage, working with two new officials each time.
    • That’s where I first met Jon Decker and Carlos Woosley.
  • Started as a rank 3 official, promoted to a 4 mid-year and to a 5 at year end
    • Worked my first high school game with Leo Sykes.
    • Worked my first regional my first year with Clyde Trathowen
    • President Clem Brooks asked me if I would be training director for the next year and I served as training director for 3 years.
    • Later in the year, Clem asked if I would serve the remainder of Tom Judge’s term as a member of the Basketball Committee (board) and I served for a total of 15 years as director and one year as VP.
  • 1998 - Worked 6A state finals with Jeff Albers and Alvin Holder.
  • 1998 - Started the WCOA web site, utilizing my personal web site and supported it for 3 years before the WCOA Executive Board allocated funds to build it on a professional hosting system. Clem Brooks said I brought the WCOA kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
  • 1999 - Started the first WCOA basketball camp at University of Tampa girls basketball camp with only 14 officials
    • The second camp expanded to 31 officials also at UT
    • Ran the WCOA training camps for 3 years
    • The board agreed that the volume of officials exceeded the girls’ basketball camp ability to provide enough games at UT, so the camp was moved to the USF facility to take advantage of the large boy’s basketball camp with Mike Hegarty and Leo Sykes assuming the camp director responsibility.
  • 1999 - Selected as WCOA Emeritus official, for services rendered to the association at a general membership meeting, thus becoming an official for life.
  • 2001 - May 5, Received WCOA male officials of the year by the Florida Basketball Officials Association at their banquet
  • 2002 - Served as a FHSAA state clinician for 2 days at the Auburndale FHSAA field clinic.
  • 2003 - Was the first WCOA New Official Orientation Training Class instructor with Thom Powers, continuing for 3 years.
  • 2004 - Received WCOA official of the year at the Hillsborough County Coaches banquet
  • 2004 - Developed an online evaluations system on the web site for officials to immediately view their evaluations; only association in Florida to have this capability.
  • 2008 - Began recording all basketball meeting and loading to web site to be viewed by absent members.
  • 2009 - Was the basketball person to create the criteria for basketball to qualify the WCOA as the FHSAA association of the year
  • 2014 - Received 30 year membership award from FHSAA
  • Remained active in the WCOA to assist where possible after foot injuries prohibited officiating.
  • 2015 - Received Golden Whistle award for services rendered
  • 2016 - Continued supporting the WCOA web site until retirement
Jim Drapp Football/Basketball Official Officiating Experience:
  • Member – West Coast Officials Association (WCOA), Tampa, Florida, July 1976 to 2008
  • Member – West Coast Umpires Association (WCUA), Tampa, Florida, July 1976 to 1989
  • Member – Florida High School Activities Association (FHSAA), Gainesville, Florida, July 1976 to 2008
  • Charter Member – National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), Racine, Wisconsin, 1976 to present
  • Offices Held, WCOA – President 8 years, Wrestling VP 4 years, Basketball VP 4 years, Football Sports Committee Member, Basketball Sports Committee Member, Basketball Asssignment Committee Member, Football Sports Committee Member, Footbal Recommendation Committee Memeber and Wrestling Booking Commissioner for 10 years.
  • Offices Held, WCUA – Umpire in Chief 6 years and Board Member for 8 years.
  • Officiated – High School Football 1976 to 2006. Served as Referee for Varsity crew since 1985. Worked 38 Playoff assignments, including Clock Operator for 1977 2A State Championship, Referee for 1990 3A State Championship, Referee for 1994 6A State Championship, Referee for 1998 2A State Championship and Referee for 2004 2A State Championship.
  • Officiated – High School Basketball 1976 to 2005. Worked Varsity assignments since 1978. Worked 62 Boys District Tournament Playoff assignments since 1985, 28 Boys Regional Tournament Playoff assignments and 10 Boys State Tournament Playoff assignments, including 1989 2A State Championship Game, 1995 6A State Championship Game, 1999 6A State Championship Game and 2005 1A State Championship Game. Worked 23 Girls District Tournament Playoff assignments since 1983, 6 Girls Regional Tournament Playoff assignments and 3 Girls State Tournament Playoff assignments, including 1983 4A State Championship Game and 1994 3A State Championship Game.
  • Also officiated Men’s Junior College Basketball in the Suncoast Conference and Women’s Division II Basketball in the Sunshine State Conference for several years.
Gerald (Jerry) Lambert Football/Basketball Official

Gerald (Jerry) Lambert was a proud member of West Coast Officials Association for well over 25 years. He proudly served in the US Airforce for 20 years and retired in Tampa. Jerry was very proud of his Cajun heritage; there was no question of his heritage when you heard him speak. Mr. Lambert officiated several sports including football, basketball, baseball, and softball. Mr. Lambert worked State Finals in basketball, baseball, and softball—sadly, not football although more than qualified and deserving.

Throughout his many years of officiating, he was always noted to have one of the strongest crews in football because he was very selective of those he chose to work with. Mr. Lambert started off in football as a linesmen and worked his way to a referee position back in the days when there were only 8 crews. Jerry was elected and severed on every possible committee including Vice President of Football. He was noted for being hard on coaches, players, and other officials during games. This may be because he began is career in an era where discipline wasn’t as good as it is today--fighting wasn’t uncommon. Association members who knew him would all agree he was a dedicated trainer other officials. He spent hours filling out detailed evaluations, trying to help fellow officials. Mr. Lambert was a hard judge and you would have to repeatedly demonstrate competency in order to pass his inspection as an official.

While having a hard exterior at times, Mr. Lambert was known for a much softer side. After the games, he was known for his sense of humor and storytelling. Mr. Lambert was a major supporter of the Special Olympics and secured volunteer officials for several sports including basketball. He also worked with wheelchair basketball and would recruit volunteer officials there as well. Mr. Lambert’s induction comes posthumously. Mr. Lambert passed away in 2007 at the age of 69 while still an active and participating official in WCOA. He may have slowed down from his prime, but he still managed his own crew as a referee.

WCOA wants to recognize great officials from the past who left a mark on WOCA and belong in the Hall of Fame before their memory fades. The list of officials that Mr. Lambert mentored over the years would be too long to list for this this bio. Mr. Lambert should be remembered as a great official of many sports, a good hearted man with a very wicked since of humor, and a man who left a legacy that should be remembered and acknowledged in the West Coast Officials Association.

Ken Williamson Football/Basketball Official Football Official for 32 years:
  • 17 years in High School Football Officiating (15 years with WCOA)
    • 3 State Championship assignments
  • 17 years in College Football Officiating
    • 5 years Gulf South Division II
      • 1 Division II playoff assignment
    • 12 years Division I-FB
      • 4 years in Sun Belt
      • 8 years Southeastern Conference
      • 9 Post season assignments
High School Basketball Official for 11 years (8 years with WCOA)
  • One state final four assignments - Girls
  • Four state final four assignments - Boys