The ECAC has not renewed the contract of former Geneseo coach Paul Duffy as Supervisor of Officials, and is actively, and aggressively, seeking a new person to fill the role.
“It was a very tough decision,” said ECAC commissioner Steve Hagwell. “Coming out of [the coaches convention in] Naples, I was charged with overseeing personnel and making decisions in regards to staff. At the end of the day, we went in a different direction. Paul did a lot of nice things last year.”
Officiating is a consistent point of angst everywhere in hockey, but the ECAC’s aggressive search suggests it wants to clean up some trouble spots in that area.
In announcing the job opening, the ECAC listed 19 duties and responsibilities for its next Supervisor. Besides the more obvious ones — coordinating referee personnel and scheduling, etc… — the ECAC also emphasized items such as:
• “Utilize coaches’ ratings, observers’ evaluations and personal observations to determine officiating assignments during the season.”
• “Conduct an annual meeting with Division I hockey officials’ observers to review interpretations, mechanics and philosophy of officiating.”
• “Work toward the elimination of any practice that permits coaches to “blackball” or “scratch” game officials in relationship to their individual game assignments and retention as a working official in the league.”
• “Develop and implement an officials’ enhancement program that would include public relations, educating and the public, etc.”
The ECAC’s intention is to create better procedural and managerial control over the officiating system, in order to improve the overall quality.
“We need somenoe who is able to strike the balance between coaches issues and officiating issues,” Hagwell said. “Someone who is strong in their beliefs and has a plan. It’s a very difficult position to balance. By the same token, we’ve got to come up with some new ideas to get new blood, and at some point you do need a new influx of officials.
“You’ve got to have a plan to deal with people because coaches are going to call you constantly. You need to get out and be visible, and someone who is strong in their positions.”