A release from the Pac-12 Conference regarding the naming of veteran official John Higgins as the the new Coordinator of Officials for the Western Basketball Officiating Consortium:
John Higgins, who has been selected to nine Final Fours and called two NCAA Division I National Championship games, has been named the new Coordinator of Officials for the Western Basketball Officiating Consortium, it was jointly announced today by the six leagues comprising the WBOC.
In this role, Higgins will be charged with recruiting, selecting, developing, evaluating and assigning officials for every men’s basketball game hosted by schools in the WBOC, which comprises the Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, Western Athletic, and West Coast Conferences.
Long regarded as one of college basketball’s top officials, Higgins will replace outgoing longtime coordinator Bobby Dibler, who announced in March his retirement effective this summer. Higgins will assume the role June 1.
“Over the course of the last decade, John has made our Consortium stronger, not only with consistent calls and effective communication on the court, but in providing leadership and mentorship to officials across our roster,” said the Commissioners of the six conferences comprising the WBOC – Tom Wistrcill (Big Sky), Dan Butterly (Big West), Gloria Nevarez (Mountain West), George Kliavkoff (Pac-12), Brian Thornton (WAC) and Stu Jackson (WCC). “He has established and earned the respect of both colleagues and coaches alike during a more than three-decade career in college basketball, and we anticipate a smooth transition from one of the sport’s most respected officials ever in Bobby Dibler to John Higgins for the upcoming 2023-24 season and beyond.”
Higgins has spent the past 35 years as an on-court official across more than a dozen conferences, including nearly two decades working games in the western U.S. and on the roster of the WBOC since its inception. He has been on the crew for nine of the last 14 Final Fours, including court assignments to the 2013 and 2016 national title games.
Higgins has officiated in 29 NCAA Tournaments including 17 regional rounds, and an estimated 60 conference tournaments and 40 league title games at the Division I level.
In 2017, he was named Men’s College Official of the Year by the Naismith Awards and Atlanta Tipoff Club, an honor bestowed upon veteran officials who display character, integrity and dignity, while contributing mightily to the growth, success and viability of college basketball.
“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead men’s basketball officiating for the six conferences in the WBOC and to provide guidance and direction for our leadership team and officiating staff,” said Higgins. “The Consortium has grown immensely under Bobby Dibler’s tenure, and I look forward to partnering with our officials, coaches and administrators, as well as NCAA national coordinator and former WBOC colleague Chris Rastatter, to further advance our group and make our sport better.”
Higgins began his officiating career in 1988 working games in the Missouri Valley Conference, and was a four-year letterwinner and member of an NAIA national semifinal team at Nebraska Kearney from 1979-83.
ABOUT THE WBOC
The Western Basketball Officiating Consortium (WBOC) features all six Division I men’s basketball Conferences encompassing the western United States, the Pac-12, Mountain West, Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, Western Athletic, and West Coast. The regional collaboration has produced the largest and most comprehensive officiating consortium in Division I men’s college basketball, servicing 67 member institutions across 13 states.