ATLANTA (September 17, 2019) – Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Barbara Jo Smith as the 2019 Naismith Women’s College Official of the Year award winner and Bobby Dibler as the 2019 Naismith Men’s College Official of the Year award winner for their contributions to the sport of basketball. Dibler will be honored this Saturday, Sept. 21, at a ceremony during the 2019 Men’s Basketball Regional Officiating Clinic in Phoenix, and Smith will receive her award at the regional clinic in Indianapolis on Oct. 6, 2019.

First awarded in 1988, the Naismith Official of the Year award recognizes individuals who display character, integrity and dignity and have contributed mightily to the growth, success and viability of college basketball. To be eligible, an individual must have been involved with the sport as a game official for a minimum of 20 years and worked both the NCAA Tournament and a conference tournament as a game official.

During her more than 30 years as an official, Smith has worked 20 NCAA Tournaments, including four Final Fours. She has officiated numerous conference tournaments and worked numerous summer basketball camps as a clinician. Smith currently works in the Big Ten Conference, Mid-American Conference, Big East Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Horizon League and Summit League and has served in the American Athletic, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conferences.

“I am humbled and in awe that I was selected as the 2019 Naismith Women’s College Official of the Year recipient and will now be included with such an elite group of women’s basketball officials,” said Smith. “This award is shared with all of the mentors, officials and coordinators that I have been blessed to know over the past 30+ years of my officiating career. Thank you for this lifetime honor. I will cherish it as the highlight of my basketball officiating career.”

Dibler officiated his first college game for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball in 1973 and continued calling games until 1993. His long and successful career as a college basketball game official included working 14 NCAA Tournaments, three Final Fours and two title games. Dibler has served as a coordinator of basketball officials for 25 years, overseeing the Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pacific-12, Western Athletic and West Coast Conferences.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to receive the Naismith College Official of the Year award. I have been blessed to be associated with so many individuals to include NCAA personnel, conference and university administrators, coaches, and our leadership team,” said Dibler. “But most of all, to have the privilege of working very closely with our officials both on and off the court, who actively ‘put it on the line’ every night, is an honor above all honors.”

“Both Barbara Jo and Bobby have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and expertise to the sport through their officiating and their mentorship of younger officials both on and off the court,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Their contributions will have a lasting impact on the game of basketball and have made the industry even stronger.”

Former winners of the awards include:

Men's Official of the Year Women's Official of the Year
2020Mike EadesFelicia Grinter
2019Bobby DiblerBarbara Jo Smith
2018Jim “Boomer” BainDenise Brooks
2017John Higgins Al Link
2016Dick Cartmell Phyllis Deveney
2015Mike Sanzere Dock Sisk
2014Randy McCall Kaye Garms
2013Tom Eades Marcy Weston
2012Tom O'Neill Doug Cloud
2011Ed Corbett Mary Day
2010Anthony Greene Denny Mayer
2009Mike Kitts Nan Sisk
2008Scott Thornley Tommy Salerno
2007John Cahill Tina Napier
2006Steve Welmer Joe Cunningham
2005Ted Valentine Wesley Dean
2004Bob Donato Melissa Barlow
2003Mike Wood Yvette McKinney
2002Larry Rose Lisa Mattingly
2001Ted Hillary Scott Yarbrough
2000Gerald Boudreaux Dennis DeMayo
1999Andre Pattillo Violet Palmer
1998Frank Scagliotta Bob Trammell
1997Tommy Lopes Dee Kantner
1996Dick Paparo John Morningstar
1995Leonard Wirtz Darlene May
1994Tim Higgins Larry Sheppard
1993James Burr Arthur Bomengen
1992Ed Hightower Sue Kennedy
1991Don Rutledge Sally Bell
1990Mickey Crowley Bill Stokes
1989John Clougherty June Courteau
1988Joe Forte Patty Broderick


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.


Media Contact:

Traci Messier

Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club

[email protected]