Four outstanding individuals from the world of high school officiating will be honored with an award for lifetime achievement. William Covington of High Point, Dan Dougherty of Jacksonville, Jack Huss of Rutherfordton and Neil Buie of Stedmen are the recipients of the sixth annual Golden Whistle Merit Award, created in a partnership among the North Carolina High School
Athletic Association (NCHSAA), the North Carolina Coaches Association (NCCA) and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA).
Criteria for the award include demonstrating leadership, performance, service and training for the betterment of officiating, possessing officiating abilities emulated by fellow officials, being regarded as a person of integrity and character, and a minimum of 10 years of experience as an active official. They will be presented their awards at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting on May 3 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
Jack Huss: Huss began his officiating career in 1966 while a student at Lenoir-Rhyne College. He coached college football at L-R from 1973 to '84, serving as head coach for a stint, and also coached high school football, coaching in the North Carolina Coaches Association East-West all-star game. But his award is based on an outstanding career as a basketball official. He worked 10 years as a collegiate basketball official and officiated at the high school level for many years, including working an NCHSAA state championship game on five occasions: 1990, '92, '96, 2000 and 2006. The current president of the Piedmont Officials Association, he has been the clinic leader for that organization since 1987.
Neil Buie: Buie has been a leader in mentoring and training young officials, contributing to the success of countless NCHSAA officials. He has worked in five NCHSAA state championship baseball series and two state football title games. He has also officiated in both the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and the North Carolina Coaches Association East-West all-star game. A 1996 winner of the NCHSAA Distinguished Service Award, Buie has also been a dedicated volunteer for the Special Olympics, the North Carolina Senior Games and the North Carolina State games.
William Covington: Covington is an NCAA official who has officiated in five NCAA Division I tournaments and eight National Invitational Tournaments. He has officiated in a number of conferences, including the Colonial Athletic Association, Big South, Sun Belt, MEAC and CIAA, but has also served 24 years as a registered NCHSAA basketball official. He has officiated both 3-A and 4-A NCHSAA state championship games and regional tournaments and has served as a head clinician for officials' evaluation. Covington has dedicated his service to the NCHSAA in terms of developing officials and has provided extensive training in teaching fundamentals.
Dan Dougherty: Dougherty began officiating in 1975 and was one of the youngest booking agents the NCHSAA has ever had, serving in that capacity for 20 years. He has been in charge of assigning officials for the NCHSAA state golf championships since 1995 and has also been very innovative in working with six-man and seven-man mechanics for football. He received the NCHSAA Distinguished Service Award in 2004, and perhaps the greatest service he has provided for officials serving under his leadership is outstanding professional teaching and expectations.