(Photo: Michael P. Hall)
The Ontario University Football Officials' Association in conjunction with Ontario University Athletics and the McMaster Marauders football team honoured long time OUA football official George Montani during the McMaster Homecoming football game on Saturday, September 27th at Ron Joyce Stadium.
In November of 2013, Montani, one of the most respected and accomplished amateur football officials in Canada hung up his whistle, put away his flag, and announced his retirement from officiating the game he so dearly loves.
For the past 25 years, Montani has been a member of the Ontario University Football Officials' Association and has officiated over 200 CIS football games, including 10 Yates Cups, 3 Mitchell Bowls and 3 Vanier Cups. In 2011, Montani was a member of the Vanier Cup officiating crew in Vancouver when McMaster defeated Laval in what arguably may have been, the most exciting football game ever played in this country.
Montani has officiated amateur football for more than 3 decades as an integral member of the Hamilton Football Officials' Association where he was a great mentor, evaluator, and a friend to all officials at every level.
During his officiating career, Montani has been recognized with many awards. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Ken Green Award that recognizes 'outstanding contribution and dedication toward the improvement of amateur football officiating in Ontario'. In 1998, Montani was the recipient of the Hamilton Football Officials' Association prestigious Seymour Wilson Award for his 'outstanding contribution to the development of amateur football in the City of Hamilton'.
"George Montani was an excellent guy to have on any crew" says Murray Drinkwalter, the President of the OUA Football Official's Association. "George is a walking rule book; his knowledge of the Canadian Amateur rule book and officials' positioning mechanics is second to none and his presence on any crew immediately raised the confidence level of the whole crew. All of us in the OUA have missed his sense of humour and presence on the field this season".
On Saturday, September 27th George was recognized with a special presentation during the pre-game ceremony at the McMaster Marauders Homecoming game by OUA Football Officials' Association Secretary Kevin Mickleboro, a long-time friend and fellow Hamilton football official. OUA football Referee-in-Chief Ken Green was also present. With George during the presentation was his wife of 34 years, Karyn, his two daughters Kate and Alysha, and son-in-law Arron.
Source: Ontario University Football Officials Association