Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 25, 2012

Richlands native Altizer inducted into shrine

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The originator of the baseball program at Richlands High School is now a member of the Virginia High School Hall of Fame.

Richlands native John Altizer received his honor as a contributor to prep sports in the Old Dominion for his work as “one of the premier officials in the state,” according to a news release highlighting the Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

Altizer was head coach of the Blue Tornado baseball team from 1976-82 and 1985-88. A 1964 graduate of Richlands High School in 1964, he received his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 1968, and taught middle school for 31 years.

He officiated football for 33 years and basketball for 43 years, said Mike McCall of the Virginia High School League.

The VHSL and the Virginia High School Coaches Association jointly sponsor the hall.

He was selected to officiate six state finals and semifinals football championship games and 17 state boys and girls basketball games. For 41 consecutive years he officiated regional finals or semifinals.

Altizer has served as the Appalachian Officials Association commissioner of football for eight years and commissioner of basketball for 11 years. He also served as commissioner for eight years before retiring in 2011.

During his tenure with the association, Altizer helped start a basketball officiating camp to develop officials for Southwest Virginia; implemented a web-based officials’ assigning program; and helped re-write the association’s by-laws to give all stakeholders a voice in its governance.

He also helped develop and fund a scholarship given by the association to a college-bound senior boy and girl each year.

A banquet in honor of Altizer and the other eight inductees into the class of 2012 was held on Oct. 15 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Charlottes-ville.

Past inductees into the hall of fame include NFL players Carroll Dale, brothers Ronde and Tiki Barber, Ken Willard, Thomas Jones and Ronald Curry; NBA stars Moses Malone, Grant Hill and Dell Curry; college standouts Ralph Sampson and Frank Eastman; and pro baseball player Johnny Oates.

Nick Colobro, the Gate City football coach who once ran the Tazewell program, and the late Glynn Carlock Sr. are among the hall of famers from the coaching ranks.�

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