Former Williamsport Quarterback Alan Eck Earning His Stripes in the Big 12

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

 

"Pass interference #29 defense, the ball will be placed at the spot of the foul, automatic first down," said Alan Eck-Big 12 referee.

Alan Eck grew up in Williamsport. Family and football filled the time. Now Alan lives in Atlanta Georgia with his wife Michelle and their two children. And for the former Millionaire quarterback leading a new team onto the field each week is his job as a college football referee for the Big 12 conference.

"It's been a critical part of my life. It's taught me discipline and it's taught me how to set goals, and work as a team and overcome adversity," again said Alan.

This is Alan's 5th season as an official in the Big 12. In September he worked several nationally televised games right here on WNEP and ABC.

"It's a lot more pressure the higher profile the game. You go from small college where you're not on TV at all, to where I started out in Division I in the Mountain West Conference, and I went to the Big 12. The higher up you go the more camera angles you have to deal with," added Alan.
"Eck wants to throw. Looks for his receiver. He's got them," announcer says from 1986 Eastern Conference Championship game.

In 1986 Eck and Williamsport won the Eastern Conference Championship with players including Greg Walker, Corey Jett and Gary Brown.

"He was really to me the only quarterback I knew until I was 15. He was my brother's quarterback. I can't remember too many other people handing him the ball until my brother went to Penn State. He was Mr. QB when I was a kid," said Kevin Brown.

After high school Eck went on to Bloomsburg University and set a school record for most completions in a season. Current Huskies assistant coach Chet Henicle played on the 1990 team with Alan.

"I remember the first time I saw it, all the sudden you look up and wow!!! I know that guy. It was Alan, because you lose track of how they progress through the time. You see him in a bowl game. It's not surprising. I always knew him to be a realist, calm and collected. A very good QB and good official," said Chet Henicle.

After graduating from Bloomsburg University Alan got his start in officiating here with the Susquehanna Valley Chapter out of District IV and some of the same officials that worked with Alan from the beginning are still here today.

"It was the end of my first season. I felt like I was working the Super Bowl although both teams we're 0-10," again said Alan.

"You could tell from day one he was going to be a good official. What was it about him Bobby that you liked? His mannerisms. How he worked hard, understanding and learning the rules. He's been that way ever since," said Bob Gimble.

"It gives us a lot of pride here. A guy coming from this area and from our ranks and moving up. Everybody here has a special sense of pride of it," said Dave Frey.

As Alan continues his work ... He is on a short list to become an NFL official. Nearly 2,000 names went into a database as part of the league's Advanced Development Program . After working some pre-season games this year Alan earned a spot in the top 20.

"I do have that going for me. I had an opportunity to work a pre-season game in Nashville (Titans and the Rams). It went real well. Got a lot of good feedback and college season I have to keep doing what I been doing," again said Alan.

The NFL is considering adding an 8th official to every game starting next season. That would open up 17 new jobs and likely punch Alan Eck's ticket to the highest level of professional football an official could achieve.