Legendary sports official Lorenzo Cotton passed away

(Family Photo)

Lorenzo Cotton
September 18, 1948 – March 26, 2022

Longtime referee and community leader Lorenzo Cotton sadly passed away on March 26.

Lorenzo tried to step away from umpiring and referring in 2002 after 30 years of service. He tried. Only a few of us “old timers” knew him as a local high school and college referee who always came at you with a smile while always demanding respect due to his presence.

I met Lorenzo when was just 18 in 1982, as a college freshman and as an assistant coach of the University of Arizona Wheelchair Basketball Team. Lorenzo, along with Cleo Robinson and Jerry Morris, handled most of our home games and, at the time, I had no idea they also did Arizona and Pima baseball games and basketball games. I just knew them as great guys. That was 40 years ago.

In this day of coaches, fans and players increasingly getting tossed for verbally and physically attacking refs, I fondly look back on the humor and friendships I had when I was in that position. My life is so much better now, even though I had my angry moments with calls now and then, because of people like Lorenzo. Life increasingly becomes way too short.

If you knew Lorenzo then you know.

His family and close friends are in our thoughts and prayers.


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