Tucsonan Kirby Bollnow has earned the honor of the 2019 Arizona Football Official of the Year by the National Federation of State High Schools Officials Association.
Bollnow, who has officiated at the high school level locally since 2011, received the award today in the mail from NFHS. Approximately 500 officials are employed by the AIA statewide.
“I was shocked when the letter arrived,” he mentioned. “It is a very humbling experience to be recognized by your organization (Arizona Interscholastic Association) to be put up for an honor like this.”
RELATED: Bollnow has been featured as part of our “Tucson’s Treasures” series
“The support of my crew and other officials in Arizona and across the country is critical to getting this kind of recognition,” Bollnow added.
Also a referee with Tucson Youth Football since 2008, Bollnow has established a revered presence in Southern Arizona that is unbecoming of a person in his position.
That respect from high school coaches generates from Bollnow often volunteering his time either officiating or communicating to them about rules.
“I’m honored that high school football coaches will call me up and ask for a rule interpretation,” Bollnow told AllSportsTucson.com in April when he was featured in the Tucson’s Treasures series.
“At the end of the day, I want people to say, ‘Kirby makes a difference.’ I know there’s coaches that see officials walk on the field and say, ‘Oh, crap, we got that guy.’ I never want them to say that about me.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.