Karol Brown Warden (2nd from left) was the Captain of the Ohio State 1970 Champion Synchronized Swim Team

by David Miller,

Loveland native and resident Karol Brown Warden will be inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Officials Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 9th in Columbus. Warden has been an Ohio State tournament official for more than 40-years, including officiating State final games in volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, field hockey, swimming, and diving. She has had more than twenty assignments to state tournaments.

“I was simply thrilled to be chosen for OHSAA Hall of Fame. That gives Loveland three people, Owen Donahue, Gary “Bucky” Switzer and me,” said Warden. “I was born and raised in Loveland. The street is named for my dad– Karl Brown Way.”

Karol Brown Warden will be inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Officials Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 9

Warden was inducted into the Loveland High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. She is a past Division for Girls’ and Women’s Sports, Sportswoman of the year.

Warden said she coached cheerleaders, majorettes, drill teams, gymnastics. She coached swimming and diving at Westland High School and Columbus School for Girls. She coached gymnastics, swimming and softball at Cincinnati Country Day, and cheerleading, swimming, and diving at both Indian Hill Middle and High schools. Warden coached swimming and diving at St. Ursula.

Starting in 1966, Warden has refereed gymnastics, swimming, diving, field hockey, soccer, basketball, and volleyball for OHSAA. She still referees Volleyball for OHSAA

Warden still coaches swimming, diving, gymnastics, and lifeguarding.

Warden has been Secretary of Ohio Valley Volleyball Officials Associates for the past 35-years.

Warden says she has no idea how many games she has officiated or coached over her on-going career in youth athletics.

Warden was nominated by Ruchelle Dunwoody, the President of the Ohio Valley Volleyball Officials Associates (OVVOA). In a supporting letter, Fred Bahr, a past president of OVVOA said, “Observing Warden’s work was one of the things that led me to become a volleyball official after I quit coaching.” He said further, “Karol is dedicated to making high school sports in Ohio better. As an official assignor, coach or OVVOA secretary, she has always kept the kids first. She is a huge asset to the OHSAA.”

Deborah Moore, the Senior Director of Compliance and Sports Medicine with OHSAA said about Warden, “Karol has been instrumental in promoting young officials and is especially concerned that our officiating ranks depict the diversity that is found in our student population. She has championed opportunities for women and persons of color and has remained involved in that endeavor even as her career has been winding down.”

More about Karol Brown Warden:

She has been a school administer at Xenia, Clermont Northeastern, and Goshen.

Teacher and coach at Indian Hill, Cincinnati Country Day, St Ursula Academy, and Cincinnati Hebrew Day School.

Greater Miami Conference volleyball assigner for 18-years.

Graduated summa cum laude from Ohio State University in 1970 with a B.S. in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. Received an M.S. in Education from Ohio State in 1994.

Was the captain of the Ohio State National Swim Team and a Big Ten Champion. Assistant Swim Coach of Ohio State National Champions.

Received an M.A. from the University of Cincinnati in Educational Administration in 1991.

Karol’s husband Jon, is also a referee and was a pitcher on the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers.

The Wardens have three children, JD, Karl, and Haley and three grandkids, Leah, Finn, and Jude.



  1. Karol has an un-believable devotion to sports and the students she works with. A well deserved honor to her efforts!

  2. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. A much deserved recognition.
    Congrats Karol, and thanks for all you still do in the world of sports.

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