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This profile was last updated on 5/28/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Employment History

61 Total References
Web References
Matt Moore « HolyTurf, 28 May 2013 [cached]
Tags:Hubert Owens, Hubert Owens SEC referee, Ken Williamson, Ken Williamson SEC referee, Marc Curles, Marc Curles SEC referee, Matt Austin, Matt Austin SEC referee, Matt Moore, Matt Moore SEC referee, Penn Wagers, Penn Wagers SEC referee, SEC refs, Tom Ritter, Tom Ritter SEC referee
Tags:Hubert Owens, Hubert Owens SEC referee, Ken Williamson, Ken Williamson SEC referee, Marc Curles, Marc Curles SEC referee, Matt Austin, Matt Austin SEC referee, Matt Moore, Matt Moore SEC referee, Penn Wagers, Penn Wagers SEC referee, SEC refs, Tom Ritter, Tom Ritter SEC referee
Penn Wagers is a head ..., 24 Nov 2007 [cached]
Penn Wagers is a head football referee in the SEC. He's been refereeing for 28 years.
Penn Wagers is a head football referee in the SEC.He's been refereeing for 28 years.
Penn Wagers
Penn Wagers has heard more cuss words than Chris Rock's mom.
For nearly 28 years, Wagers has patrolled up and down football fields all across the globe maintaining order in an otherwise hectic sport.In his career, he figures he's officiated somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 plays.If you ask him if he's ever blown a call, he'll look you right in the eye and say no.And then he'll give you that signature smirk.
"Missing a call is something that is going to happen," he says."We're human beings, after all."
As a fan, you just pray he's not a human being the week he's calling your team's game.
Earning his stripes
Nobody dreams of being a referee.
Like many kids, Wagers wanted to be a professional football player when he grew up.At first, his passion started with neighborhood pickup games, then organized peewee leagues in Summerville.In high school, he suited up for Mims Academy, a small school with an even smaller football team.
"There wasn't but 14 of us on the team.I had to play offense and defense," he says.
When it came time to go to college, nobody recruited Wagers.Like his team, he was too small.And just like that, his dream was cut short.After graduating from Trident Technical College, he went to work at a local paper mill.Though the pay was good, the work was hard and the hours were long.A friend of his tried to talk him into refereeing football.
Wagers scoffed at the idea: "I had always wanted to play.I never thought about being a ref."
But after watching that same friend repeatedly come home with extra spending money, Wagers decided it was worth a shot.
So in 1974, Penn Wagers stepped on the football field wearing a different kind of uniform.
Dreams change
Over the next 15 years, Wagers would ask for hundreds of days off work from the paper mill so that he could referee.It started with local pickup games, then high school games.In 1980, he began calling Division II football games, which meant frequent road trips to remote places to call games between Nobody and Nobody State.
"It was hard work, let me tell you," he says.
Though Wagers has 28 years of experience under his belt, he knows fans don't care a lick when they think he might have just blown a call against their team.
Very matter-of-factly, he says: "In college football, you're only as good as your last call."
He's candid when he says being an official is not for people whose feelings are easily hurt or those who don't perform well under pressure.
"You gotta be tough," he says."It takes a while to get conditioned to hearing how bad you are."The only solace Wagers can take is that he has the support of the rest of his crew.
For five years now, Wagers has acted as a head referee in the SEC, which he calls "the toughest conference on the planet Earth."
During that time, he's called games featuring some of the greatest coaches in the country.Holtz.Richt.Spurrier.Tuberville.Saban.
The ability to remain impartial is one of the greatest skills that top-level referees possess, and Wagers is no different.But you can't help but wonder where his loyalty lies: Clemson or Carolina?
During the offseason, veteran college ..., 9 Aug 2011 [cached]
During the offseason, veteran college football official Penn Wagers usually gets a one-page summary of the rules changes for the upcoming season.
"There normally would be seven or eight changes," said Wagers, a Summerville native preparing for his 37th season of officiating football games (he started when he was 18).
SEC referee Penn Wagers
The rules changes were approved last April by the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel. Wagers, a head referee in the Southeastern Conference, provides a zebra's eye view of the changes.
Wagers gave an example.
OXFORD, Miss. | The wait for ..., 13 Oct 2007 [cached]
OXFORD, Miss. | The wait for referee Penn Wagers was agonizingly long, even though most everyone on the University of Alabama side knew that the call would likely be overturned. - News Articles: North Georgia's Sporting News Weather and News [cached]
Referee Penn Wagers led the officiating crew in the Alabama-LSU game and also the crew that erred in handling the clock late in the Tennessee-Florida game, a mistake that allowed the Volunteers more time to drive for a game-winning field goal.But Parks was not part of that crew.
Gaston said he had not received a tape of the play from Alabama, but planned to call Shula and apologize for the mistake.
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