Officials

Gary Welchel

State Commissioner of Officials

Gary WelchelGary has lived in Arizona since the mid-fifties; attending Kenilworth Elementary, West Phoenix High School, and graduating from Grand Canyon College in 1972 with a double major in Physical Education and Elementary Education; and a minor in Christian Doctrines. He received his Master's Degree in Secondary Education from ASU in 1977, and acquired his administrative certification from ASU in 1991. During his thirty year career in education in Pinal County, Gary served for ten years as a teacher and coach at Toltec Elementary School in Eloy. Over the next 20 years he served as a teacher, coach, and principal at Stanfield Elementary School.

Gary paralleled his educational career by fulfilling his internal calling to be a sports official. Starting as a 13 year old in 1962 calling basketball games at the downtown YMCA. In 1967, as a freshman in college, Gary joined the AIA as a basketball official. In 1985, he took on the position with the AIA as an Area Commissioner and supervisor of officials in the Casa Grande area. In 1997, Gary was honored to selected to serve on the National Association of Sports Officials Board of Directors, and served as their Chair in 2001. Additionally, he served a four year term on the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee. Gary counts it one of his greatest privileges to have been selected in 2001 as the AIA State Commissioner of Officials, a position that has allowed him to carry forth a vision of excellence for the 3000 men and women that serve our student athletes as sports officials, coining the phrase "Walk Worthy In The Uniform" as a principle and belief for AIA officials.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership and vision related to the overall operation of the Officials Department
  • Recruit, screen, train, supervise, and evaluate officials
  • Supervise officiating department staff
  • Develop leaders and leadership committee's for each sport to assist in administrating the officiating programs
  • Oversee regular season assignments
  • Assign officials to the State Tournaments
  • Interpret sports rules
  • Investigate and track athletic protests and participant ejections

Contact Information:
P: 602-385-3816
E: gwhelchel@aiaonline.org