Frank Shea

Class of


Frank Shea officiated football, basketball and softball in Delaware for more than a half-century. It was the late 1940s and Shea, a teenager, began officiating basketball games at the YMCA near
his birthplace, Blackstone, Massachusetts. Some 50 years later, Shea would become the first recipient of a special whistle – The Frank Shea Gold Whistle Award. He received the award for his five
decades of service to the Northern Delaware Football Officials Association. Shea refereed basketball in Delaware for 25 years, but football is where Shea made his mark. He stopped working on the
field in 1997 and moved into the press box to become a timer, called “Dr. of Clockology” by his colleagues. In 2001 at age 72 Shea worked briefly as referee in the Blue-Gold All-Star football game,
the 12th time that he had worked the classic. The next summer at the National Football Officials Association banquet, Shea was honored as the National Distinguished Official of the Year –
the first Delaware official to receive the award. Shea was a charter member of the organizing committee when the Delaware high school football tournament began in 1971 and served on the committee for
36 years. Frank was on the field as an official in some of the early years of the state tournament. In 1982 Shea developed the officials’ association’s training materials and guidelines for rules and
on-field mechanics, the bulk of which are still in place.



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