What we learned when Jay Stricherz
M.Ed.’75 and Jerry Meyerhoff ’72
spoke at a Sigma Nu alumni gather-
ing during Summer Reunion Weekend:
They grew up playing football. And since
Jay Stricherz’ dad was a college referee,
Jay was tagging along to watch college
football games by the time he was 10.
Jerry Meyerhoff played in high school
and was a starting center for three years
on coach Bob Ryan’s squads at UPS. He
was named Little All Northwest Honor-
able Mention in 1969 and 1970.
So when their playing days ended
both Jay and Jerry found another con-
nection to the game they loved—referee-
ing. The two UPS alumni ended up offici-
ating in the now-Pac-12 Conference.
With just 49 officials in the Pac-12,
they’re part of an elite group.
I got into officiating because of my
dad,” said Jay. “I just grew up around it.
When I was a kid, I’d get to go to college
games and hear the fans yell and scream
at my dad.”
Jay got an early start as a ref. Dur-
ing his junior year at UPS in 1969, his
dad suggested he start officiating. Just
six years after refereeing his first Pee
Wee football game, Jay began officiating
small-college football and reffed his first
UPS game in 1976. Three years later he
made the leap to the Pac-10.
For the past 33 years, Jay has been
on a football field every Saturday after-
noon in the fall, refereeing in the Pac-
later the Pac-12, doing 12 games a
Jerry, who graduated from Puyal-
lup High School in 1967, dabbled in
coaching at the junior-high level after he
played his last college game. In 1980 he
started the journey to college refereeing
when he officiated his first youth football
If you can handle Pee Wee football,
you can handle anything,” Jerry said.
The parents are unbelievable. I remem-
ber this grandma with a cane came out
on the field complaining.”
In 1990, 10 years after refereeing his
first youth football game, he reffed his
first small-college game.
My goal at that point was to offici-
ate at the same level I played at,” Jerry
In 1999 Jerry was promoted to the
big time when he started reffing in the
For the past couple of years, Jerry
and Jay were on the same officiating
crew. Jerry was an umpire (the position
right behind the linebackers), and always
in the lane of traffic. It is a job that re-
quires nimble movement and quick feet.
He figured he was knocked down three
or four times a season.
He’s like a matador,” Jay said.
But,” Jerry told us, “my skills are not
what they used to be. The athletes stay
the same age, get bigger and faster, but
we keep getting older!” So he felt it was
time to retire from the field. Next season
Jerry will be up in the booth working
with the replay crew.
They get paid $2,700 a game, which
covers their expenses. It’s the love of the
game that keeps Jay (a retired middle-
school principal) and Jerry (who still
works in trucking and transportation
sales) coming back.
If you want to be involved in col-
lege football, you’re either a fan, a coach,
or an official,” Jerry said. “We’re lucky.
We’re the only other people on the field
besides the players.”
Gail Wood ’79
Longtime Pac-12 football
officials Stricherz (left)
This year’s Alumni Award winners
Together at Reunion:
Jeffery M. Vance ‘74, Professional Achievement Award; H.C.
Joe” Harned ‘51, Service to Community; Linda Federico Pearn
and Domenick Federico ‘67, Service to University of Puget
Sound; Benjamin Shelton ‘03, Young Alumni Service Award.
Greek-sponsored events, including the
sorority tea and Saturday evening’s Reunion Dinner after-
party, drew members of fraternities and sororities past and
present. Many even stayed in their old houses for the week-
end! Here, the women of Pi Beta Phi on the Event Lawn at
the Logger Picnic.