Dan Hooper, the long time supervisor of basketball officials for the California Pacific Conference, passed away last weekend in North Carolina. The heart and soul of the Sacramento Association of Collegiate Officials (SACO) was 76 years old.
Hooper, who is survived by his son and three daughters, held the Cal Pac, the individual institutions, the men's and women's basketball programs, and the student athletes in particular, in high regard, according to Don Ott, the Cal Pac commissioner. "Dan was a great friend to our institutions, and I cherished his work on our behalf. More than that, he exuded a kindness and character which made him a beloved colleague and friend."
Alan Pierce, a long-time official and close associate with Hooper's organization, will assume the leadership and assigning duties for SACO, which was formed from a collective of top rated basketball officials within California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Washington and Hawaii. These officials perform their duties in arbitrating college basketball games in the CCCAA, NAIA, and NCAA and, under Hooper's direction, these officials have developed to become leaders among their peers in their respective high school associations as well.
Hooper officiated for 26 years at various levels of collegiate and high school basketball before assuming the mantle of leadership for SACO. He was the Supervisor of Officials for the Pacific West Conference and the Coordinator of Officials for SACO. He assigned officials to DII, DIII, NAIA and junior colleges in California. Hooper was also the Assigner for the men's and women's games in the California Community College State Tournament.
In addition to his assigning duties, he offered many opportunities for upcoming officials by sponsoring several referee instructional camps at CSU Chico and conducted four NCAA-sanctioned Jamborees for training and instructing officials annually.
Hooper assembled knowledgeable, highly respected camp staffs with experiences in the NCAA Final Four Tournaments as well as the NBA. SACO consists of Several DI officials who currently work in the Pacific-12, West Coast, Big Sky and Big West Conferences, and NBA D-League. Camp staffs also include Evaluators who currently assess officials for the NBA and many NCAA Division I conferences.
Hooper's latest milestone was his induction in the CCCMBCA Hall of Fame in the Contributor category in 2012.