Football Official Jeff Hilyer Receives NFHS Citation
BOSTON, Mass. — Opelika’s Jeff Hilyer, a longtime AHSAA football official, was among 12 leaders in high school activity programs across the country who received the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations Tuesday.
Hilyer is the NFHS Officials Association Citation recipient. He was presented the award at the 95th annual NFHS Summer Meeting’s luncheon.
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 is an attorney and accountant by profession. He is the second AHSAA official in the five years to receive the NFHS Officials Citation Award. Houston Young, a veteran AHSAA track and field official, received the NFHS Officials Citation Award in 2010.
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. Hilyer served as 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 AHSAA 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 previously served in the Ohio Valley Conference and Gulf South Conference, and is 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.
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.