Rose to be inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, July 7, 2010

COURTLAND—Retired college basketball referee Larry Rose will be among eight inducted into the Hampton Roads African American Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 6.

“I’m excited,” Rose said Wednesday from his Courtland home. “One doesn’t get into the hall of fame (every day). I just feel very proud.”

An intervention specialist for Southampton High School, Rose retired from referring in 2008 after a 36-year career that took him from intramural college games to the NCAA Final Four.

“I’d come to a point where I was burnt out. I was in the air six days a week, traveling from the Midwest to the North, to the South, Texas, Chicago, New York, Miami,” Rose said.

In addition, a better job came along.

“Opportunity knocked and I jumped on it,” the 60-year-old said.

Rose is now a coordinator of basketball officials for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, a collegiate athletic conference of historically black colleges and universities in the southeastern United States. It participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I.

He hires and trains referees and assigns them to games.

Rose became an NCAA official in 1976 and an NCAA Division I official in 1982. He estimated that he worked more than 2,300 collegiate games.

Rose, who attended high school in Franklin and was a three-sport athlete, went to Hampton University on a baseball scholarship and also ended up playing football. In an interview with The Tidewater News in 2007, Rose said he began his officiating career at Hampton as a reluctant work/study student.

“Isaac Morehead was a professor and a coach at Hampton (and a native of Franklin). Being a student-athlete, we had work study jobs. He threw a whistle at me one day and he said my work study job was officiating intramural basketball,” Rose said. “I said ‘No,’ but he said, ‘You will do it.’”

After graduation from Hampton, Rose became certified with the state of Virginia and was a ref in the Peninsula Basketball Association. He officiated games for the Newport News Shipyard recreation league and local high school games.

Rose has also worked games in the Big East, Southeastern, Sunbelt, Big South and Atlantic 10 conferences. During that time, he called 22 straight NCAA Division I tournaments. Eighteen of those 22 years, he officiated Sweet 16 games, and 12 of those years he called Elite Eight games. He has made it to the Final Four six times.

In 2002, Rose was the Naismith Award Winner for the College Official of the Year.