Blogs and Commentary

posted 02.11.2013 at 4.55 p.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Hall of Fame Official Garvey Passes Away

National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Jim Garvey, a long-time high school, college and club official who was the originator of the "wide triangle" style of lacrosse officiating used today, passed away Feb. 5 while awaiting a heart transplant at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He was 70.

Garvey officiated seven NCAA men's lacrosse championships, including the inaugural championship in 1971. He served as the USILA's coordinator of officials from 1987-90 and NCAA's supervisor of lacrosse officials from 1990-93. He was inducted to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2001.

His work wasn't limited to lacrosse. Garvey was the only modern referee to work the historic Army-Navy game in three sports: lacrosse, basketball and football, and worked four college bowl games, including the 1987 Cotton Bowl, and five NCAA basketball tournaments.

Garvey grew up in Mineola on Long Island and graduated from Adelphi in 1964. He was an official with Metropolitan New York Lacrosse from 1963 to 1987 and was Hofstra's athletic director from 1986-1997.

"He was the best storyteller ever, whether it was sitting at the dinner table or watching a ballgame," his stepdaughter, Erin Weinberg, told Newsday (N.Y.). "He'd tell stories of officiating games with John Thompson, Joe Paterno, Lou Holtz. Whenever things got crazy on the field he'd be the one in the middle of the bunch, the rational, calm voice of reason."

Garvey lived with his wife, Gwen, in Callawassie Island, S.C, since his retirement from Hofstra. He is survived by daughter Kristen Garvey of Huntington, N.Y.; Weinberg, of Summit, N.J., and two other stepchildren, Robert Davy of Lexington, Mass., and Lauren Davy of Summit, N.J.; sister Barbara Lanzone of California; and four grandchildren.

The family has established the James V. Garvey Memorial Scholarship to help student-athletes in Hofstra's men's lacrosse program. Gifts to the James V. Garvey Memorial Scholarship Fund can be sent via check and payable to "Hofstra University" and mailed to: Tim McMahon, Associate Director of Athletics, 207 Mack Sports Complex, 245 Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. 11549.