About Us


To serve member schools with qualified high school officials in the sports of basketball, baseball, football and softball.

Board of Directors

Gopher State Officials Association is governed by a nine member Board of Directors.  The Board meets quarterly as well as when needed.  Gopher regular membership communication with the Board of Directors is encouraged.  The Board of Directors is a governing body that makes decisions through a majority vote of the Board.  The President and/or the Assignment Secretary serves as the spokesperson for the Board and for Gopher State Officials Association.

How Gopher State Started

Here are some facts on Don Bertek regarding "Gopher State Officials Association." 

Don started umpiring High School, American Legion, College and Park National baseball in the 50's. In the early 60's, Don was one of the six charter members meeting at Arthur's restaurant in North East Minneapolis to start an officials group, which became known as "Gopher State Officials Association." The other five members were: 

Stan Olson 

Bob Thorson 

Paul Brown 

Bill Milcarek 

Bozo Wincek 

From those six that were all baseball umpires, the group grew to twenty in a couple of years and started to look for basketball and football games to officiate. Stan Olson was the assigner in the beginning, handling all of the 50 games that we had. He stayed with "Gopher" till 1970 when he retired and Don took over. 

Under Don, the group continued to grow. It added the sports of volleyball and wrestling but then dropped these two sports after a few years. Rumor had it that these were dropped be-cause Don didn't work the sports. (Just kidding) Besides the assigning of games for "Gopher" Don was instrumental in holding many meetings over the years at his house and planning all the big social events each year. 

Because of Don's strong leadership, "Gopher" has grown to 280 members. Besides being one of the largest groups in the metro area, it is one of the best, servicing around 80 schools in the state. Many of the athletic directors in the metro area are very grateful to Don because he as-signs all their lower level games. Don has actively been involved in the negotiating process with the metro conferences for fees in basketball, football, baseball and softball. He was on the first negotiating team for officials 12 years ago and has had an active role in the following years. 

When the "Adapted Sports" were added to the high schools, Don was instrumental in giving clinics, writing the rules and assigning the officials to the contests. 

Over the years, Don has worked many state tournament games in football and baseball. He also has worked many State Championship football games for the Jr. Colleges. 

Don has been instrumental in the growing of "Gopher" by his active recruiting of new mem-bers, giving members an opportunity to grow and an abundance of Junior and Senior High School events that he has secured through his hard work with the schools. From the 50 or so contests that "Gopher" had started with, we had over 3500 assignments last year in football, basketball, baseball and softball that required from one to five officials per contest. 

Bozo Wincek 

Board of Directors


Mike Madden

Assignment Secretary         

Bozo Wincek     

Legal Counsel                     

Martin Johnson     

Representative Members     
Eric Gray

Tim Litfin

Steve Makowske

Greg Swan

George Winn

Clark Worthington

Rick DeGardner