Dill Howell Award

Gary Petersen


Born Jan. 28, 1951, Gary Petersen grew up in Tacoma and has spent his entire adult life working with youth athletics in the South Puget Sound region. Petersen graduated from Charles Wright Academy in 1969 after playing varsity football, basketball and baseball all four years.

After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1973 and earning his masters from the University of Utah in 1975, Petersen returned to Western Washington and served on the Western Washington Umpires Association. As a member of the association to this day, he has worked as an assigning secretary for umpires in the area and took charge as umpire trainer and assigner for Metro Parks Tacoma in 1992. This includes games from T-ball through boy's 18 & Under baseball and girls 16 & under fastpitch.

Petersen conducts several training sessions, including practice games, and assigns umpires to games on a weekly basis between late April and early August. His average number of umpires is between 15 and 20, and he also does evaluations and works games himself.

Prior to 1992, Gary was an assigning secretary for the Western Washington Umpires Association starting in 1980. He worked with Steve Orfanos and Craig Lowery and dealt with the apprentice umpires who worked the youth games in Pierce County.

Beyond umpiring, Petersen has devoted many years to the athletic department at his alma mater. From 1981 to 2001, he served as the varsity softball coach. Meanwhile, he coached the varsity girls' basketball team from 1982-90 and worked as a football assistant coach from 1981-85. He also worked in the athletic administration at Charles Wright for more than 20 years, serving as the athletic director from 1987-2000 and as an assistant athletic director from 2001-08.