Birthdate: April 11, 1925
Birthplace: Dennison, Ohio
High School: Dennison St. Mary’s (1943)
Year Inducted: 2014
Joe Pangrazio played basketball and football at St. Marys High School in his hometown of Dennison in Tuscarawas County and at the age of 21 he coached the St. Marys basketball team.
So he was aware of what he was getting into when he decided to become an official.
“It gave me a good association between the players and coaches,” he explained. “The more I did it, the more I liked it.”
He liked it so much that he wore the whistle and striped shirt for more than 50 years.
Along with operating a family pizza parlor in Dennison, Pangrazio became very involved in officiating. He worked high school basketball and football and was chosen to work 12 state basketball championships in 24 years – the maximum number officials could officiate.
He was one of the officials for the first girls Class AAA tournament in 1976. He worked the state football playoffs for 15 years.
He officiated for the Ohio Conference, the Presidents Conference, and the Hoosier-Buckeye Conference. For many years he was an observer of officials for the Big Ten Conference.
In 1989 he was in the first group inducted in the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Hall of Fame on July 2, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Joe Pangrazio died on August 24, 2014.
Watch Joe’s Acceptance Speech: