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Terry Wymer: A College Referee's Crazy Life

posted Mar 26, 2014, 5:35 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 26, 2014, 7:00 PM by Unknown user ]
Kristin Conner

As many know Rachel and Eric Wymer from their participation and success in many sports here at Van Buren maybe some of you know their father, Terry Wymer, the man who makes the calls.

           Terry can be seen on the basketball court, not playing, but officiating for NCAA Div. 1 men’s basketball games. He has been officiating for a total of 30 years and 20 of those being for the NCAA.

Photo courtesy of: alannlook.photoshelter.com (fair use)

           Although he played baseball and football for the University of Findlay, Wymer always enjoyed basketball. He began his basketball career coaching JV basketball at Liberty Benton High School. After graduation he was offered the varsity coaching job at McComb, which he accepted for only one season since he still wanted to become a teacher. He wanted to stay involved in basketball and needed to exercise because he is a diabetic, so he thought officiating basketball would be a good fit.

           Things can get very crazy for Terry at times especially since he usually works 70 games a year, but this year he said he would work 80 games.

           “My game dates come out starting in August and are completed by early September,” said Wymer. “Since I officiate in six different conferences, I must negotiate dates with each conference, once the dates are confirmed I must make my own travel arrangement. That means: flights, hotels and rental cars. I must also contact my partners for the games two weeks prior to the game to make sure everyone will get to the game,” he explained.

On game days, Terry takes the first flight out of Detroit usually around 6:00 a.m. so he leaves home around 3:30 a.m. Once he arrives, he rests, eats lightly and then goes to work the game. After each game, he usually arrives back to the room around midnight and then does it all over again the next day.

Terry can also be seen during the always crazy March Madness. “I would say I will probably make it to the Regional round with the hope of the Final Four again. But that probably won't happen since I worked it last year.”

With no plans of retiring soon, Terry explained that he would like to officiate the Final Four in the future and and hopes to officiate long enough to pay for his children’s college education.

Although Terry loves his job, there’s one thing he doesn’t always appreciate from being on the road so much; his family.

          Family is very important to him, as he is to them. “The only thing that I would like to change about my job would be to work games closer to home so I could spend more time at home with my family and not miss my children's activities. Fortunately my family understands for the most part because officiating has provided wonderful things for them also.”

           Whether he is reffing college basketball or attending his children’s events, Mr. Wymer’s life is nothing short of busy. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

  1. What are your favorite types of games to ref?

Best games to officiate are rivalry games. Michigan/Michigan State, Ohio State/Michigan and others. Big crowds, loud and usually close in score. Anything can happen in these games. The unexpected can be interesting.

  1. What do you like about your job?

I like meeting new people, seeing different colleges and getting paid for something I enjoy doing.

  1. Who is the most important person to you and why?

My family is most important to me. Without the love and support of Teresa, Luke, Eric and Rachel I couldn't do what I do. Without them I would not be as successful in officiating.

  1. What's your favorite travel food?

I try to eat healthy and I eat all kinds of food.  But sometimes it's Subway and power bars. Eating habits depend on the amount of time I have to eat.

  1. What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?

When I have free time, I love to be with my family. Being with Teresa just doing whatever, working or doing things with Luke, watching Eric run or being with him and watching Rachel play her sports and just being with her. Of course vacationing with them or fishing with the children. Also, visiting with my parents, Jim and Lelia Wymer and my mother-in-law Louise Hennings. They've taught me a lot of life skills to help me become successful in life.