Johns Hopkins Magazine
Johns Hopkins Magazine Current Issue Past Issues Search Get In Touch
Y O U R    O T H E R    L I F E
Whistle Blower
Photo by
John Davis
Adrian Hill, in his first game as a high school varsity football ref, blew a call. In a contest at Fairmount Heights in Prince George's County, the quarterback for rival Central High faked a handoff to his running back and ran for a game-winning touchdown. But Hill was watching the empty-handed running back, not the ball, and when he saw the running back tackled by an equally fooled defender, he blew the play dead, negating the touchdown. Central went on to lose the game.

"I learned an important lesson that day," says Hill, a flight software engineer in the Space Department of the Applied Physics Laboratory. "Just because you see a runner get tackled doesn't mean he has the ball."

Hill has overcome that 1991 gaffe. He kept working high school games and did his first state high school title game at the University of Maryland in 1997. Hill refereed another Maryland prep championship game at Ravens Stadium in 2003, then moved up to the college level in 2004. He is now in his second season as a ref for Conference USA, a major-school conference that reaches from West Virginia to Florida and west to Texas. He also worked four NFL Europe games in 2007.

"Like a lot of people I have been a football fan as long as I can remember," he says. "Even when I was young, I thought it would be fun to put on the stripes."

Would he like to work in the NFL? "That would be the ultimate goal."— David Driver

Return to November 2008 Table of Contents

  The Johns Hopkins Magazine | 901 S. Bond St. | Suite 540 | Baltimore, MD 21231
Phone 443-287-9900 | Fax 443-287-9898 | E-mail