Dickinson’s Troy Huber officiates final high school games after 35 years of service

Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FARGO, N.D. (KFYR) - Being a referee can be one of the most thankless jobs in all of sports. The pressure an official faces on a nightly basis is unlike any other profession. One Dickinson-based official has faced the pressure head-on for decades, and after years of service to North Dakota, he’s hanging up the whistle.

For 35 years, Troy Huber has worn the black and white stripes.

“I started doing basketball in ‘87, and in the fall of ‘88 I started doing football,” said Huber.

It all began when he was a sophomore at Dickinson State.

“It was one of those things where you’re a poor college kid and you needed money for this, that, and the other thing. I remember my first city league, I don’t think I blew my whistle five times,” said Huber.

Now he’s blown his whistle thousands of times, but he still kept coming back.

“Part of it is I enjoy it, I still enjoy it. The other part is giving back to the kids,” said Huber.

Troy spent this weekend in Fargo working the Class A basketball tournament. While it’s special to be part of a state tournament, this weekend was special for other reasons. After decades of working in high school sports, this was Troy’s last high school tournament.

“After 35 years, it’s one of those things where it’s time. I’ll still be around, I’ll still try and help out our local association, assigning games, helping any young guys we get in on the right path,” said Huber.

Having been a referee for so long, Troy has built bonds that go beyond the baseline.

“It’s really a brotherhood. I mean I’ve got guys that I’ve worked with in Dickinson, Bismarck, Montana guys that come and help us out. Fargo, Williston, Watford, every place,” said Huber.

While Troy has given back to communities around the region, none of it would’ve been possible without his support system back home in Dickinson.

“Without my family, I couldn’t do it. Without my wife, there’s no way. I mean she was the one who was home with three kids when I was out working basketball and football, and without her at home there’s no way I could’ve done it,” said Huber.

The Huber family has grown up watching their dad race the sidelines. As he takes a step back from working high school games, the state of officiating is in a different place than it was 35 years ago.

“I think it’s in a better place than it was then when I started 30 years ago, but there’s always room for improvement. There’s always stuff we can do better. We’re by no means perfect. We always strive to be perfect but it’s never going to happen. It’s one of those things that once you get involved, you never want to leave it. We need officials. Not just basketball, we need them in hockey, baseball, football, I mean everything,” said Huber.