Longtime basketball official, tourney director will be missed

The state’s sports scene lost one of its most enduring contributors with the death of Bob Whytock on Sunday in Augusta at age 83.

While Whytock turned in standout seasons as a tight end on the University of Maine football team in the early 1950s before embarking on a long, successful career as a Cony High School educator, my memories of him are as a longtime high school basketball official and director of the Western Maine high school basketball tourneys in Augusta.

Whytock possessed the key quality all players and coaches seek in a referee: consistency. From the opening tap until the final buzzer, his calls were unwavering. He was stern and fair while keeping the game’s spotlight on the players, where it belonged. When he made a call, a player accepted it with little reaction.

His direction of the Western Maine tourneys was smooth and organized. In working with the media, he featured two qualities we always relish: candor and accessibility.

The Maine Basketball Hall of  Fame is inducting Whytock as one of its Legends of the Game this summer and rightly so.

A son of Scottish immigrants, his contributions to athletics and education not only still resonate with those he worked with, but serve as fine examples for others to follow.

Joe McLaughlin

About Joe McLaughlin

McLaughlin (right) is a Stearns High School and University of Maine graduate who worked for three years at the Aroostook Republican and News in Caribou as a reporter and editor. He has worked on the BDN sports desk for 30 years, the last 18 as sports editor. McLaughlin and his wife, Kathy Schwigan, live in Brewer and have three adult children: Ryan, Matthew and Tess.