Bucky Switzer officiated his last game in Loveland on February 24
by Staff Reporter Cam Louder
Loveland, Oh. – February 24 was Gary “Bucky” Switzer’s last regular season game, and last in Loveland, ending a forty-five year stint officiating youth sports. The game was the Loveland Tigers mens varsity game vs. the Anderson Redskins.
He was called to center court at halftime to a standing ovation, and honored with a plaque given to him by Loveland High School athletic director, Julie Renner.
Switzer had two Ohio State Tournament games to go before hanging up his stripped jersey and whistle for the last time. He started officiating basketball in 1970.
Switzer was interviewed by Loveland Magazine before the varsity game started.
“I only got thirty-four years in with football,” he said with a grin, “Forty-five with basketball.”
When asked if he knew how many games he’s officiated over his career he said, “No idea.”
How many are you guessing?
“I don’t know. Doing kids games too. Probably at least fifty to sixty games a year, plus the kids games. Whatever that figures out to be. Probably three to four thousand games.”
He will have officiated fifty-five varsity basketball games this year including this last in Loveland, plus two State tournament games to end his career.
Switzer was asked to describe his officiating philosophy.
“Well, I’m kinda old school, so I don’t let the kids run their mouth to myself or my partners. I usually try to talk to ’em a little bit, but I let them play a little bit too. And, it’s been successful for forty-five years,” he said with a shrug.
When asked to talk about the best thing about officiating, he said, “You meet a lot of good people – a lot of good people. Not only in the way of officials, but kids over the years, and coaches over the years. A lot of great coaches.”
He was asked if he liked to sit back at home in front of the TV and watch, or hear about some of the kids he has called fouls on. “Oh yea, oh yes. I have officiated four or five kids that have been in the NBA. Labron James. I officiated one of his games. LaSalle Thompson, Louis Orr, Walt McBride, Kevin Grevey… guys like that. And ya know, those guys are great basketball players and that’s what this is all about. It’s about the kids. It’s not about me. It’s not about the coaches. It’s about the kids.”
Switzer said a good fan would be one that knows the rules, but quickly adds, “And, there’s not very many of those.” He said that if a fan knows the rules, he doesn’t care if they yell at him. “But if they sit up there in the stands and don’t know the rules, I have a hard time with that,” he said.
It must roll off of you though if you’ve done it this long?
“Oh yeah, you get too… ah, you GOT to have thick skin.”
Bucky Switzer’s Score Sheet
– Lifelong member of the Loveland community
– 1963 graduate of Loveland High School
– His wife and two children both graduated from Loveland High School as well.
– Officiated mens and woman’s high school basketball for forty-five years.
– Officiated mens varsity football for thirty-four years.
– Officiated three, Ohio Final Four Basketball Tournaments.
– Officiated thirty-five Regional Basketball Games.
– Officiated thirty-five District Basketball Finals.
– Officiated thirty-seven Sectional Basketball Finals.
– Inducted into The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Officials Hall of Fame in 2010.
– Received the Tom Ballaban Outstanding Official Award in 2006.
– Officiated an estimated three to four thousand games.