February 14, 2013

Three ECAC Football Officials Named Winners of "Red" Hill Awards

CENTERVILLE, Mass. -  Eastern College Athletic Conference Coordinator of Football Officials Bill Ward has announced that Barry Fowler of the Connecticut Chapter, Mark Mesnick of the Metro Chapter, and Mark Zides from the Western New England Chapter have been selected winners of the “Red Hill Awards” for football Officiating presented by the ECAC.  The Awards, which honor the ECAC Football Officials of the Year, will be presented Thursday, February 21 at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet that will be held at MetLife Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Fowler started his football officiating career at the high school level in 1981, and remains an active, on-field official in the Colonial Football Officials Association, located in the greater Western Connecticut area.  In his 32 year high school officiating career he worked his first high school championship game in 1987.  Fowler has worked a total of five Connecticut State Championship games, two New England Prep School State Championships, three league championships and numerous Connecticut quarter and semi-final playoff contests.    He has served the Colonial Board in various capacities, including Association President, Game Assignor, New Member Curriculum team and has represented his high school chapter at the state level for over 10 years

Fowler started his collegiate officiating career in the Connecticut Chapter of the ECAC in 1995, working various Division II and III game assignments as a Line Judge.  2003 Fowler joined the ECFOA staff as a Field Judge, and in 2005 was promoted to Div I as a Head Linesman where he worked Ivy & Patriot League contests.  He returned to the ECAC Div II & III staff in 2007, and in 2009 was selected to become one of three Referees in the Connecticut Chapter.  Fowler has either been a member of, or has led, the Chapter’s Curriculum committee, the Chapter’s New Candidate committee, and was recently elected to the Chapter’s Executive Committee for 2013.  Highlights of his career include game assignments for  the Amherst-Williams game, 2008 ECAC South West Bowl, 2010 ECAC North Central Bowl, 2011 ECAC North Atlantic Bowl, and the 2012 ECAC South West Bowl.

Mesnick, an ECAC official since 2003 has been a member of many officials’ organizations during his career. Beginning his officiating duties in 1985 as a member of the Long Island Association of Football Officials, Mesnick served as an executive board member and president of the chapter.  He earned various playoff assignments while with the high school group.

Mesnick has had two different stints as an ECAC Metro Region football official.  His first ECAC assignment came in 1998 and he worked through the 2000 season. A brief two year run as a member of the Eastern College Football Officials Association followed. In 2003 Mesnick returned to the ECAC where her has been a fixture through the present day. In 2012 he was selected to officiate the ECAC South Atlantic Championship game. 

The co-founder of the 2012 Metro High School Football Officials Clinic, Mesnick has also worked semi-professional games for the Metropolitan Football Officials Association since 2009. He was selected for playoff games with the organization.

Zides began his football officiating career in 1974 as a member of the Public School Athletic League Football Officials Association which serves New York City high school football. He moved on to the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials in 1982 working over 250 ECAC games as a downfield official.

Zides has officiated at the Division 1AA level in the Patriot and Ivy Leagues, as well as Division II and III games. He has officiated 11 ECAC Bowl games and 10 Williams /Amherst games, known as the Biggest Little Game in America. Mark moved to the Western New England chapter of EAIFO in 1991 working games predominantly in the Albany Capital district, Massachusetts and Vermont. He has served the chapter as a mentor to newer officials, a presenter at chapter meetings and as a field mechanics resource. Zides was awarded the Mark Karbowski 12th Player Award by the WNE chapter in 2006 for contributions in mentoring to the chapter.

The Red Hill Award is named for the former ECAC football official of 29 years. Hill served as the Director of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate football Offficials Boston Chapter for a dozen years.  He served as vice president and president of the EAIFO, and was responsible for institution many of the EAIFO policies. Over his career Hill made numerous contributions to the EAIFO and collegiate football officiating in general. The award has been presented since 1999.  Only 34 officials have been selected as the recipients.