OGDEN -- Big Sky Conference commissioner Doug Fullerton has announced the hiring of Karl Richins as the coordinator of football officials. Richins assumes the role held for the past 14 seasons by Doug Toole, who retired following the 2012 season.
"Doug Toole did a tremendous job during his 14 years overseeing our football officials,'' Fullerton said. "Karl has the experience and knowledge to continue building our program. He is well-respected throughout the officiating community. We are really pleased we were able to attract someone of Karl's stature. Karl is eager and extremely motivated to assume this role.''
Richins spent the previous three seasons assisting Toole and the Big Sky Conference with game evaluation and training videos.
"I look forward to the challenge of carrying on the legacy that Doug Toole has championed in this conference,'' Richins said. "My key priorities are training officials and accountability of officials, while at the same time making this a vocation the officials can enjoy along the way.''
His duties as director of football officials will include training, hiring and evaluating officials. He will also oversee game evaluators, assign red hats, develop training videos, and run the annual summer officiating clinic.
Richins began his officiating career in 1985 at the high school level in Pocatello, Idaho. In 1998, he began officiating in the Big Sky Conference and in 2000 moved to the Mountain West Conference.
In 2003, he was elevated to a referee position in the Mountain West. In 2007, Richins began working as a referee in the Big 12 Conference. A back injury forced Richins to hang up his whistle in 2010.
During his career, Richins officiated two Cotton Bowls, a Gator Bowl, a Capital One Bowl, an Outback Bowl, as well as several high-profile Big 12, Mountain West and Big Sky games.
Richins also spent 25 years as a United States probation officer, retiring in 2008. Richins graduated from Idaho State University in 1984 with a bachelor's of science in political science. He and his wife JoLynda Stillman reside in Salt Lake City. Richins has three adult children, including a stepson Ryan Dickson who is an official in the Pac-12 Conference.
Big Sky officials worked the Division I National Championship game on Jan. 5, in Frisco, Texas.