Dick Honig

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Richard "Dick" Honig is a former American football official. He worked for 22 years in the Big Ten Conference (starting in 1983) and nine years in the Mid-American Conference and 20 years as a basketball referee for the Mid-American Conference. Working over 15 bowl games, Honig's final football game was the 2005 Sugar Bowl between Virginia Tech and Auburn. Honig's officiating career in Division I college football spans over 350 games.

Dick began to play organized sports in high school and earned varsity letters in baseball, basketball, and football, and he received All-City and All-State honors in baseball and basketball two years in a row.

Honig is a 1963 graduate of the University of Michigan with bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology. He was an All-Big Ten shortstop on the Wolverines national championship baseball team in 1962.

Honig coached for ten years at Michigan, as an assistant basketball coach and assistant baseball coach which also led to his officiating career since the coaches were also officials and to add to the salary since coaches were not paid well at the time, making just $5,400 a year.

Honig is still involved with the Big Ten Conference in a supervisory role and operates instant replay during games. Honig also trains and assigns officials for the European Federation of American Football, which he helped establish in 1988.

Honig owns and operates Honig's Whistle Stop] an officials' supplies company, which he founded in 1984. Honig's has expanded its operation to eight branch offices throughout the United States and Canada, and is the uniform supplier for umpires working the College World Series.

Honig and his wife, Liana, have four children and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Honig's Whistle Stop's headquarters are located.

Memorable games[edit]

During a 2002 game between Iowa and Penn State, Honig was chased by Penn State head coach Joe Paterno following a 42–35 overtime victory by Iowa. Paterno was angered that Penn State wide receiver Tony Johnson caught a pass for a first down with both feet in bounds according to the stadium's video replay board, but the play was ruled an incompletion.[1] The image of the coaching legend running down the official was shown repeatedly on sports highlight shows throughout the 2002 season, as many found it both amusing and amazing that a man his age could run so fast. This game was also a catalyst for the adoption of instant replay in the Big Ten Conference beginning in 2003.


  1. ^ Fittipaldo, Ray (2002-10-02). "Paterno says no apology needed". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-09-04. 

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