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Longtime Referee Bob Rose Set To Retire At End Of Season
Bob Rose (fourth from right, in white hat) with his crew prior to working the 2016 NCAA Division II Football National Championship game in Kansas City. Photo courtesy of Mike Burton.
Bob Rose (fourth from right, in white hat) with his crew prior to working the 2016 NCAA Division II Football National Championship game in Kansas City. Photo courtesy of Mike Burton.

Friday, November 10, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – While you may not know his name, anyone who has watched small college football and basketball in the Northwest over the last three decades would recognize Bob Rose.

The short, gray-haired man in the striped shirt is not only one of the longest-tenured college officials in the area, but is also one of the most respected. Rose will hang his whistle up at the end of the season and will work his final GNAC football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, when Humboldt State hosts Central Washington in Arcata, Calif.

The game will be his final Division II contest as he completes a 42-year officiating career, including 29 years in the college ranks.

“Bob has that special something that gives everyone confidence that the game will be worked right,” said Mike Burton the GNAC’s supervisor of football officials. “He will be missed as an official, but more important as a friend that I could call on to work the biggest game.”

In recent years, there have been plenty of those biggest games that Rose has been called upon. In 2009, Rose was picked to be the referee for the 2009 NCAA Division III championship game, the “Stagg Bowl,” in Salem, Va. He was selected to work the 2013 NAIA national championship game in Rome, Georgia, and was also the referee for last year’s NCAA Division II national championship game in Kansas City.

According to Burton, Rose is believed to be the only person to work as the referee for all three of those small college national championship games.

During last year’s Division II final, Burton said he was impressed by Rose’s ability to keep his crew calm and instill confidence in all he would be working with. “When he came into the room that the pregame meeting last December in Kansas City, the pressure went right out of the room,” Burton said. “Bob is a class act and will be very tough to replace.”

Rose began officiating high school football games in 1975 and worked his way up to the college ranks in 1988. He has worked football games for not only the GNAC and the Division III Northwest Conference, but for both leagues’ predecessor, the Columbia Football Association. He has also worked college basketball games for the GNAC, the Northwest Conference, and the NAIA’s Cascade Collegiate Conference.

Rose is also the assigner for high school and basketball in southwest Washington, a role he will continue after retiring from the college ranks.

A resident of Longview, Wash., Rose and his wife, Jeri, will be spending a few more winters in the sunshine of Palm Springs, California.

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