Mike Burton To Supervise Division II Football Officials
Burton, third from left, with the GNAC officiating team that worked the 2016 NCAA Division II Football Championship game in Kansas City.
Burton, third from left, with the GNAC officiating team that worked the 2016 NCAA Division II Football Championship game in Kansas City.
Mike Burton
Mike Burton

Thursday, June 27, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – After a quarter-century career coordinating college football officials for a variety of conferences in the Northwest, Mike Burton has been selected by the NCAA to be the organization’s first Division II football national director of officials.

The commissioner of the Northwest Intercollegiate Football Officials Association (NIFOA) and the assigner of football officials for the GNAC since 2005, Burton will leave both roles to focus on his national duties.

“While we are sorry to see Mike leave his day-to-day work with the GNAC, we are incredibly happy for the opportunity he has at the national level,” GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund said. “We are fortunate to have had Mike work to develop some of the best football officials in the nation here in the GNAC. The NCAA will only benefit from Mike’s vast knowledge and commitment to excellence.”

“Working for the GNAC has been a real pleasure for these many years,” Burton said. “Dave Haglund has been an outstanding commissioner to work for and a true friend. He has supported our program to be one of the best officiating groups in the nation. Without the support of the GNAC office and our schools, this would not have happened.”

A former high school teacher, baseball coach and forensics coach, Burton’s ability to coach has shown in the quality and success of the officials that he has mentored. Since 2006, 61 of his officials have advanced to work in Division I conferences and 67 of his NIFOA crews have been selected to work playoff games at the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA levels.

In 2016, one of Burton’s GNAC crews was selected to work the NCAA Division II national championship game in Kansas City. In 2018, Burton served as the chair of the supervisors’ rating committee that evaluated and recommended officials for every game of the NCAA Division II Football Championship.

A highly-respected official in his own right, Burton worked on the field for 36 years in a career that saw him call nine high school state championship games and five semifinal contests, one NAIA national championship game and two NCAA national semifinals games.

In 2000, Burton was a Citation Award Winner for Officiating Excellence from the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and was named to the NFHS National Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2009, Burton was inducted into the Washington Officials Association Hall of Fame and to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame in both officiating and speech and debate.

Burton’s selection as the first Division II football national director officiating is the latest step by the NCAA to increase the quality of officiating below the Division I level and comes on the heels of the hiring of the first Division II coordinator of men’s basketball officials last year.

“Being the first national director of Division II football national director of officiating is another challenge that I look forward to,” Burton said. “It will be tough missing the personal relationships that I have with my officials and I am sad to be leaving my supervisor’s job, but I am ready for another challenge to improve Division II officiating in the United States.”

In addition to his officiating resume, Burton spent many years as a high school teacher and forensics coach in the Seattle area. He was named the 1995 Washington State Teacher of the Year and has received numerous awards for teaching and speech and debate coaching.