RACINE, Wis. — Mike Pereira, NFL and NCAA football rules analyst with Fox Sports, has been selected by NASO as the recipient of the 2019 NASO Mel Narol Medallion. Pereira joined Fox after serving as the NFL vice president of officiating. He also had a long and successful career officiating in NCAA Division I football and the NFL.
Pereira will be honored with the Medallion at the Celebrate Officiating Gala on July 30 at the NASO Sports Officiating Summit in Spokane, Wash.
“As my officiating career progressed, I found myself more and more able to give back to football officials and the officiating profession. That’s meant a lot to me,” Pereira said.
Most recently, Pereira has focused his energy on helping U.S. military veterans land positions as sports officials, in his “Battlefields to Ballfields” (B2B) program. The effort is designed to promote officiating as a field for veterans re-entering the U.S. workforce.
“Mike is one of the most unique people you’ll meet in the world, inside or outside officiating,” said Barry Mano, NASO president and founder. “He stands up for officials, working on issues that help us develop and get better.”
Pereira has stepped up as a signature contributor to NASO’s new Legacy program, where supporters can contribute to NASO through a will or trust. “That’s leadership,” Mano said. “Mike made his contribution a priority, and that sends a positive message to others that the Legacy program is important for NASO’s mission in the years ahead.”
Pereira is also a former chair of the NASO Board of Directors.
Pereira officiated for two years in the NFL before moving into the league’s office and spending 12 years as either a supervisor of officials or the vice president of officiating. In addition to his collegiate officiating, he served as supervisor of officials for the Western Athletic Conference. He joined Fox Sports as a rules analyst in 2010.
“Mike stands up for officials both on and off the field. He has been preeminent in walking the fine line of informing his viewing audience about the rules and officiating, and not alienating the very officials he is speaking about. That is a learned skill and he has shown he is the very best at doing that,” Mano said.
Pereira’s B2B program is an extension of his continuing contributions to the sports officiating industry. Coaching and finances are invested in veterans seeking to become sports officials.
“I was a mediocre athlete but found my niche as a football official,” Pereira said. “Once I got a few games under my belt, I knew it was something special for me. Now I want to make sure others have the right opportunities to succeed on the field or court. It’s a tough job and getting tougher every day. We have to provide the best and most up-to-date tools available to bring new officials into the system and ensure they stay with it.”
The Medallion recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the betterment of NASO. These activities include organizational leadership, education, training, promotion of officiating and other events. The award is named for Narol, a longtime legal columnist and consultant to NASO, who died in 2002. Narol received the award posthumously in 2003, when the Medallion was named in his honor.
Past Medallion recipients include:
- 2001 — Jerry Seeman, retired NFL senior director of officiating
- 2003 — Mel Narol (deceased), the foremost authority on officiating legal issues
- 2004 — Fox 40 International, makers of the Fox 40 whistle
- 2005 — Dick Honig, owner of Honig’s Whistle Stop
- 2006 — Marcy Weston, retired national coordinator of NCAA women’s basketball officiating
- 2007 — Bill Kolbe, retired attorney, business and legal advisor for NASO
- 2008 — Ed T. Rush, retired NBA referee and supervisor of officials
- 2009 — Ronnie Carter, retired executive director for the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association
- 2010 — David Dodge, retired NCAA Division I men’s basketball official
- 2011 — Alan Goldberger, sports law attorney and legal authority for game officials
- 2012 — Marriott Corporation, longtime NASO partner and supporting organization to the officiating industry
- 2013 — Gary Whelchel, commissioner of officials for the Arizona Interscholastic Association
- 2014 — California Basketball Officials Association (CBOA), more than 3,700 officials are members of the only statewide basketball officials association in the state, from youth to semi-pro competition
- 2015 — Patty Viverito, senior associate commissioner of the Missouri Valley Conference
- 2016 — Don Collins, commissioner of the San Francisco Section of the California Interscholastic Federation
- 2017 – Drew Smith and American Specialty Insurance (ASI); Smith is president of ASI
- 2018 – Bob Kanaby, retired longtime executive director of the NFHS
Contact: Dave Simon
Referee Magazine/National Association of Sports Officials
The National Association of Sports Officials is the world’s largest organization for sports officials at every level and all sports. More than 29,000 sports officials from around the world belong to NASO, enjoying member benefits and supporting an organization that advocates for sports officials and that helps them maintain the highest level of officiating skills.