AMARILLO, Texas – WAC men's basketball coordinator of officials Bobby Dibler will be one of five inductees at the 61st Annual Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame ceremonies this Sunday, Feb. 10.
The 181st inductee, Dibler went from a standout basketball player at Amarillo High, Amarillo College and Texas Western to one of the top college officials in the country before his current role as head of the Western Officiating Consortium.
As a 5-11 guard at Amarillo High, Dibler was named all-district in 1961 when he averaged 15.0 points a game. He then played two years at Amarillo College under Bob Carter, the PSHOF's 52nd inductee, where he led the Badgers to the National Junior College Tournament as a sophomore. By averaging 21.0 points in the national tournament and making the all-tournament team, Dibler caught the attention of Texas Western coach Don Haskins.
Dibler was the point guard for Haskins, the PSHOF's 146th inductee. He graduated one year before the 1966 team was immortalized in books and in a movie in winning the national championship. Primarily a distributor of the basketball, Dibler averaged 6.9 points. But in the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament, Dibler was named all-tournament after averaging 21.0 points in three games as Texas Western (now UTEP) finished 25-3.
After graduation, Dibler began a 32-year career with Proctor and Gamble, but wanting to stay in the game, he got interested in officiating. He started officiating high school games in El Paso in 1968, and his talent as a referee had him officiating NCAA Division I games by 1973.
For the next five years, he officiated both college and high school before going strictly with college from 1978-1993. He was an official in three Final Fours, and called two of the most memorable championship games – the 1982 final when Michael Jordan's late jumper lifted North Carolina over Georgetown, and one of the biggest upsets in championship history, Villanova's shocker over Georgetown in 1985.
Dibler worked more than 1,000 NCAA Division I games and officiated NCAA Tournament games for 14 consecutive years. As head of the Western Officiating Consortium, he coordinates officials for the WAC, Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12 and West Coast Conferences. He supervises and trains about 170 officials for 65 schools.
Dibler, who has been the WAC coordinator of officials for 19 years, was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. He was honored with the inaugural Bobby Dibler Award, which recognizes perseverance and dedication to men's basketball officiating in September of 2017.