USAV Honors Tom Blue as 2014 Frier Winner

By Bill Kauffman | May 21, 2014, 11:12 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 21, 2014) – USA Volleyball presented Tom Blue the prestigious Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award, the top organizational award given by USAV, at the 69th Annual Dorothy C. Boyce Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

“I am overwhelmed - USA Volleyball’s been a big part of my life,” Blue said. “I am sorry (wife) Janet wasn’t here tonight. She supported me through 25 years of gallivanting around the world for USA Volleyball and FIVB. She was significant in her work for USA Volleyball. There are a lot of people who have been mentioned tonight who have guided me along the way. I am sorry so many of them have been lost this year.”

Blue was an elite international referee who had officiated matches at the highest levels, including the Olympic Games. He was also leader domestically in developing the next generations of referees.

“This has been a great ride. I have devoted a lot of time to USA Volleyball and FIVB, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I was fortunate enough to go to some of the greatest events that volleyball offers, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I want to thank USA Volleyball and the Frier Committee for really honoring me with this award. It is the best thing that can happen in this organization.”

The Boyce Banquet honored several other organizational leaders, players and coaches. Alnet “Scotty” Bailess and Miki McFadden were recognized as All-Time Great Players, while Kathy Gregory and Don Shaw were presented All-Time Great Coach Awards. George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award recipients were Jon Lee, Linda Murphy and Andy Reitinger. The Harry E. Wilson Distinguished Service Award was posthumously presented to Joe Sharpless. The Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus was awarded to Wally Hendricks, while the James E. Coleman USA National Team Award was presented to Carl McGown.

Blue became a national referee in 1983 and an FIVB International Arbiter in 1987. He refereed gold-medal matches at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in 1985 and 1988. Blue served as the referee chair for the Southern Division of the Chesapeake Regional Volleyball Association and an organizer, board member and first commissioner of the Old Dominion Volleyball Region. His leadership career got on the fast track when at an annual meeting of the Chesapeake RVA, he inquired as to how he could get a vote at the National committee level.

Blue was appointed chairman of the USA National Referee Commission in 1992. He served as head referee for the USA Volleyball Open National Championships and USA Volleyball Junior National Championships from 1992 to 1996. He became chairman of the USA International Referee Commission and the USA Volleyball Rule Interpreter in 1996 and served in those positions through 2000. During the period of 1994 through 1998, he refereed two FIVB World Championships, the FIVB World Cup, the FIVB Grand Champions Cup, FIVB World League, FIVB World Grand Prix and the 1996 Olympic Games.

Blue received the Glenn Davies Referee Service award in 1998 and the Wil Peck Referee Emeritus Award in 2006. He served as Referee Delegate to several FIVB competitions, including 1999 World Cup, the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney; Junior and Youth FIVB World Championships in 1999, 2001 and 2003; 2002 Men’s World Championship; 2003 World Cup; the 2004 Olympic Qualification Tournament and the 2004 World League Final Round. He has directed International Referee Candidate Courses in Santo Domingo in 2000, Mexico City in 2003 and in Atlanta in 2004.

Blue was elected to both the FIVB and NORCECA Referee Commissions in 1998. He served on the FIVB Rules Committee until 2012. In 2002, he was elected the assistant secretary of the FIVB International Referee Commission and continued to serve in that capacity until 2012. He has conducted clinics worldwide for the FIVB. He was the referee delegate and/or member of the Referee sub-Committee for major FIVB competitions, London Olympic Games and many World Championships and NORCECA Senior and Age group Continental Championships from 2006 to 2012.

Blue authored clinic tests for all FIVB Arbiter candidates from 2006-2012 and recommended assignments for USA International Referee for all NORCECA, FIVB and USA International events for all personnel such as the World League, World Grand Prix, World Championships and World Cups.

Domestically, Blue served on the USA Volleyball’s Rules of the Game Commission through 2012; he chaired USAV’s International Indoor Official’s Commission through 2012; has been the head referee at several USAV Open Championships/Open Division and served many years as the head referee at the Big South Zonal Tournament for many years.

In 2000 Blue received the George J. Fisher Leader-In-Volleyball Award and in 2007, he was the recipient of the Harry E. Wilson Distinguished Service Award for his involvement with the FIVB and international volleyball.

2014 USA Volleyball Award Recipients
Harold T. Friermood “Frier Award”: Tom Blue
All-Time Great Player Award: Miki McFadden
All-Time Great Player Award: Alnet “Scotty” Bailess
All-Time Great Coach Award (Pioneer Division): Don Shaw
All-Time Great Coach Award (Contemporary Division): Kathy Gregory
George J. Fisher Leaders in Volleyball: Jon Lee
George J. Fisher Leaders in Volleyball: Linda Murphy
George J. Fisher Leaders in Volleyball: Andy Reitinger
Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award: Wally Hendricks
Harry E. Wilson Distinguished Service Award: Joe Sharpless
James E. Coleman USA National Team Award: Carl McGown
Merton H. Kennedy / Elmer L. Johnson Heritage: Cindy Slater
Merton H. Kennedy / Elmer L. Johnson Heritage: Dagmar Getz
Jonathan Reeser Sports Science Award: Thomas Hoy
Joe Sharpless Arbitrator Award: Joan Powell
Dr. Neville A. “Doc” Booth Commissioner’s Award: Lynne Updegraff
Best Regional Website: Evergreen Region
Rebecca Howard Star Award: Lynn Ray Boren
Outstanding Junior Program Director: Roland Madany
Outstanding Junior Male Coach: Kevin Wong
Outstanding Junior Female Coach: Robin Bugg
Outstanding Junior Clinician: David A. Dufrene
Outstanding Junior Parent Service Award: Angela Deaton

Other Awards to be Presented on May 22
Gold Whistle
Silver Whistle
Bronze Whistle
Gold Pen
Silver Pen