Football Official Hilyer To Receive NFHS Citation


      INDIANAPOLIS — Jeff Hilyer, a longtime AHSAA football official, is among 12 leaders in high school activity programs across the country who have been selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations.

      Hilyer is the NFHS Officials Association Citation recipient. The Opelika football official will receive the award at the 95th annual NFHS Summer Meeting in Boston July 1.
      The NFHS Citation Award is designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs,  and is considered one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.

      Hilyer, an attorney and accountant by profession, has been involved in sports since his days in high school and now spends a large amount of his time on the playing field as an official.

      At the high school level, Hilyer has been a licensed football official with the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) since 1980 and has officiated three AHSAA state championships and two all-star games. Within the AHSAA, Hilyer was president of the Big East Football Officials Association for 10 years and president of the Phenix City Football Officials Association for five years. He also has served as an instructor at football officials’ camps for the past 20 years.

      In addition, Hilyer officiates football at the collegiate level and currently is a regular member of the Sun Belt Conference. He was previously a regular member of the Ohio Valley Conference and Gulf South Conference, and a supplemental official in the Southeastern Conference. Hilyer officiated the 2005 Ohio Valley Conference Football Championship and the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Football Championship. He was the referee for the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco and the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

      Hilyer also officiated softball for a number of years. He was president of the Opelika Umpires Association for nine years and was an umpire in six Amateur Softball Association national tournaments.

      Nationally, Hilyer was a member of the NFHS Officials Association Board of Directors from 1998 to 2002 and was president in 2000. He also served on the NFHS Officials Education Committee for two years. Currently, he is serving a term as the NFHS Officials Association representative on the NFHS Hall of Fame Screening Committee. Hilyer also served on the AHSAA Officials Conference Organization Committee for two years.
      Houston Young, a veteran AHSAA track and field official, received the NFHS Officials Citation Award in 2010.

      Among his awards, Hilyer has been honored by the AHSAA three times, including District Football Official of the Year (2002), State Football Official of the Year (2002) and the Distinguished Service Award (2012).

      In addition to Hilyer, eight of the Citation Award winners represent NFHS-member state high school associations. The other three Citation recipients represent NFHS professional organizations for coaches, music leaders and speech/debate/theatre directors.

      The eight state association recipients are Paul Hoey, associate executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference; Brad Cashman, retired executive director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association; Gary Phillips, assistant executive director of the Georgia High School Association; Sandy Searcy, assistant commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association; Debra Velder, assistant director of the Nebraska School Activities Association; Wadie Moore, assistant executive director of the Arkansas Activities Association; Marie Ishida, retired executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation; and Gary Matthews, executive director of the Alaska School Activities Association.

      The other three recipients include Tom Zimorski, Coach Citation recipient, retired deputy director of the Virginia High School League; Rosanne Malek, Music Citation recipient, fine arts coordinator for the Iowa Department of Education; and Ken Pickering, Speech/Debate/Theatre Citation recipient, retired assistant executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

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