A sports official from Mount Ayr will be honored for his long service to the athletes of the state of Iowa. Scott Giles, 52, will be inducted into the Officials Hall of Fame by the Iowa High School Athletic Association March 10 during next week's boys state basketball tournament. Giles' partner for 20 years, Brad Baker of Creston, will also be inducted at that time.
Giles is currently an industrial tech instructor at the Mount Ayr middle school and high school, where he also serves as golf coach. (Giles recently has been selected as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association national golf coach of the year.)
As a member of the Mount Ayr Community Class of 1982, he participated all four years in football, golf, basketball and baseball, a sport in which he gained all-conference recognition. He also participated in track for two years.
Following graduation from high school, he attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO for one year before transferring to Southwestern Community College in Creston, where he joined the Spartan basketball team. After one year at SWCC, Giles returned to Northwest Missouri State, where he earned a B.A. degree in education in 1987. He later earned a masters degree in education from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL.
Giles first got interested in sports officiating by watching his father, Officials Hall of Fame member Larry Giles, and his partners' referee area basketball and football games.
While at Northwest, he was approached to referee city league, middle school, underclass and intramural games.
From that humble beginning, Giles has officiated high school basketball for 34 years, including 85 district games, 19 sub-state games and 21 state tournament games, among which are seven state championship games.
(Those numbers do not include [Page 9] his experiences officiating girls' contests, which are governed by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, which is not involved with Giles' Hall of Fame induction.)
He had officiated football for 25 years and appeared in nine pre-state tournament assignments, three state semi-finals and two state championships.
After all that those late-night road trips, Giles says he still enjoys traveling across southern and central Iowa, meeting new people and seeing new sights.
"You got to love the sport, and you got to want to do it," he said. "You meet some new guys and develop some new friendships."
Early in his career he said he was fortunate enough to work with some of the best referees in this area, including Steve McCann, Ron "Fox" Clinton, Paul Somers and the late Kirk Levine. One of his highlights of his career, he said, was the year he spent officiating with his father.
Those men as well as other veteran referees took the beginner under their wing as mentors, but they soon became partners and friends over his long career.
Giles warned, however, the state is now facing a shortage of qualified referees.
"People just don't want to go get yelled at - that's why they don't do it," he said in reference to why a new crop of referees are not working their way up the ranks as he did. "They don't want to drive an hour and a half to work a game."
For anyone considering getting certified as a referee, Giles has words of advice.
"Give it a try," he said, "but you got to want to be good. You've got to work at it, to know the rules, go to clinics, learn the mechanics ... probably one of the hardest things is communication. Being able to talk to a coach who's upset and being able to diffuse [a situation]."
Next Friday, at least for a few minutes, don't be surprised when Scott Giles appears in street clothes near courtside during action at the state tournament. No, he hasn't hung up his whistle ... on the contrary, he's awaiting his introduction as the newest member of the Iowa High School Officials Hall of Fame.
Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2017