Ron Routhier Family

Ron Routhier Bio

Ron Routhier

Bio information, photos, and stories from his peers

MHSAA Referee: Started Basketball and Football 1953-54

Basketball last year: 1994-95 41 years
Football last year: 2004-05 51 years

Born: September 21, 1935

Died: Novmeber 1, 2011 at age 76

Graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1953. His senior year of football at 160 pounds, he was guard on offense and linebacker on defense.

Attended Ferris College for one year, played football one season. Worked for Buick Division of GM, apprenticeship in Machine Repair/Machinist. Ron transferred to Chevrolet and worked for many years as a Tool Room precision grinder.

Ron married Barbara Kudej on May 5th, 1956. They had four children:

Christopher Routhier
Eric Routhier
David Routhier
Ann Routhier Bartkovich

He was active with the Knights of Columbus and St. Roberts Catholic Church in Flushing.

Ron enjoyed good competition, he played to win. He was the type of athlete you wanted ON your team, rather than AGAINST your team. He enjoyed tennis, golf, fishing, walking and reading especially if it was sports related.

Worked MHSAA Football State Finals in 1996 Iron Mountain vs Detroit St Martin dePorres

His Peers

Rudy Mora: The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Ron Routhier, is the word "comfortable". Working with Ron, you knew you were going to have a good game. He was always composed, non emotional and fair. When it came to coaches, Ron had no favorites. He was also very humble. I always enjoyed spending time with Ron and his lovely wife Barb. His knowledge of the rules was very well known. I consider him the "Jimmy Massar of football". I loved the guy to death.

Joe Ragnone: Ron always played the 50 50 wherever we went and one night won it. He asked me how he was going to get his money since he was referring the game. I told him give me the ticket since I was the linesman so I asked one of the guys if they would go pick it up. He did and came back and handed me this big wad of money mostly one dollar bills but it was like 300 dollars and something lol Ron was very happy after the game when we got in the car and I handed it to him. Good luck on getting more information he was one of my dearest friends.

Tony Mora: Ron Routhier was THEE GREATEST expert on the rules of HS football. He was my mentor who helped me tremendously become more knowledgeable on the rules of the game. There are some members in our association who are good but no one will top Ron.

Jeff Straley: Ron is the person who got me started in football officiating. Since I am married to his niece, Rhonda, there were many family gatherings and celebrations throughout the years. One spring afternoon, at another family party, during conversation Ron asked me if I had ever considered officiating football since I love the game so much. He said there was going to be a clinic held that summer. Why not come out and see what it is like. That is how I got started.

He was always calm and composed when discussing officiating, just like his demeanor on the field. I could ask him anything and he carefully crafted his answer so I could see how to "connect the dots" on penalty questions. I have never known anyone since who had such a grasp of the rules and the "spirit" of the rules like Ron did.

He spoke of his state finals game and related a complex play that did not end well for one team that thought they just made a game-changing play. The coach was really upset and let Ron know how wrong he felt Ron was. Ron stuck to his decision and later found the coach challenged his ruling appealing to the MHSAA. When all the facts were laid out, it came as no surprise that Ron handled the difficult ruling correctly. Ron told me, with his wry smile, "You know, I still have not received an apology from that coach yet."

Ron Routhier Photos

GCCOA Jim Massar Award

Ron was awarded the GCCOA Jim Massar Award in 1994.