For those interested in applying to the CFO West (Big 12, Mountain West, & Southland), please fill out the attached profile sheet and return it to us as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy should also be sent to the Big 12 Conference office to the attention of email@example.com.
Applications will only be accepted in an Excel format (.xls or .xlsx). Simply fill in the information requested and attach a photo within the space allowed. Profile Sheet format should not be changed or modified.
For those officials wanting to make application to our CFO West officiating program, which includes the Big 12, Mountain West and Southland Conferences, please review the following to help guide your next steps. Our primary goal is to put the best prepared officials on the field each and every week, and we are constantly looking for officials who meet the requirements we feel make the best officials. We are very fortunate in that with our program now in its 11th year, our staff has developed into a consistently high performing group, mainly through their hard work and commitment to high performance standards, mechanics, and accountability measures. In addition, officials from many other conferences who have participated extensively in our clinics and camps have likewise grown in their development and improved in their officiating performance. College officiating is now and will continue to evolve into a much more national structure, with continued collaboration and cooperation by the conferences which helps to improve consistency for everyone.
There is considerable competition for relatively few spots and no magic process to ensure that any one candidate has an inside track, however, there are certain steps that any candidate can take to certainly improve his opportunity of being seen by the right person at the right time. While recommendations and resumes are important, we will not select anyone to our program that we have not personally seen work, either in person at games, in our camps, or on video, and evaluated their performance over time as meeting the standards for our program. We realize others may use different methods to select their officials, but we feel strongly that personal observation and evaluation is the best method for determining prospective applicants. Our officials are part of one CFO West staff and they work in all three conferences depending upon their evaluated performance and continued demonstration of excellence in officiating.
You need to get yourself seen by people who will be making decisions on those next level assignments, and be sure you are prepared when that opportunity comes. You never know who may be watching you. College officiating is undergoing significant changes on many fronts, and you want to be in tune with those changes to better your chances in this process. The best way now is through on field camps, clinics and practices/scrimmages/spring games because that is where the coordinators see you work. There are numerous opportunities out there, and you have to be proactive, and often persistent in seeking them out; nobody is going to be your agent for you.
Officials selected to work in the Big 12 come from other Division 1 conferences or from our regional conference partner programs, so unless you are already working at that level or in one of those conferences, you first need to position yourself to be seen by coordinators or individuals in those conferences who can make a direct impact on that next opportunity. The Big 12 is not a developmental program and we take only the best officials from other conferences into our program. Officials selected to work in the Mountain West and Southland come from college conferences of various levels and occasionally the exceptional high school official who may not have been picked up by another entry level conference. In addition, we are looking for officials who are willing to commit to our program and to remain in our program throughout their college officiating career. While we often recommend officials to other conferences and work mutually with them should they have a need at specific positions, we spend valuable resources of both time and money to develop the best college officials for our program. Plenty of officials are willing to make that commitment of loyalty if given the opportunity to work in our program. While officials are free to choose their own path, we make it clear up front that we expect them to be loyal to our program or to whichever program they choose to set their career path. We are not looking for the official who just wants the most expedient path to the highest level, or who accepts a position from others who were not willing to invest in his or her development.
We currently sponsor an on-field camp in Arkansas and New Orleans as well as numerous opportunities for spring scrimmages and practices. We hold regional clinics in the spring and information on those is available through Tracy Hunt, my Administrative Assistant, or through our website at http://www.footballofficiating.com. The camps are limited in attendance but open to all college level officials (or those aspiring to be) and are a good place to learn mechanics and at least get yourself known by persons in our organization. Our classroom video clinics are not limited and are open to all officials; this year main spring clinic will be held in Sugar Land, TX (Houston area). There are many others conducted by others around the country and we attend many of those as well to observe officials; you just need to find out from various officiating sources where and when they are, and then take advantage of the opportunity to develop your skills to the point where they stand out in the crowd. Here are just a few of the on-field camps we attend and participate in addition to the camps we sponsor: Stars and Stripes Academy, Harold Mitchell Football Camp, South Florida Officials Camp, West Texas Officials Clinic.
Character off the field is a big issue with us and there are many officials who may look good on the field, but for various reasons are just not good team players and people others of high character want to be associated with. As mentioned before, loyalty is one of those character traits that we look for and expect in an applicant. Background checks are very extensive now, so be sure to keep this part of your profile above question. Correspondence should be neat, concise, and correct - every interaction you have makes a statement: be sure it is a positive one.
Check with area officials, current conference contacts and network with them. You can get excellent instruction and techniques from many sources, but you have to apply them in front of people who can make a decision and give you an opportunity. We post updated information on our website, which is free to all officials.
We accept only a Profile Sheet on any applicant to our program; please do not send schedule or other information. Be sure to attach a photo where indicated and send via email as a separate Excel (.xls) attachment. We will not accept a Profile Sheet that is not complete or does not have the photo attached as part of this one page Excel file. A blank Profile Sheet is available on our free website on its home page. Our system is set up to observe officials at various venues, and until we identify an applicant as a serious candidate, the profile sheet is all we keep, so there is no need to send or attach other documents. Applicants are free to update their profile sheet annually.
Our conferences do not have geographic limitations on where officials selected to work in the Big 12/Mountain West/Southland live. That can work for or against candidates, but we have found that individuals, who work hard, excel at mechanics and the other aspects of our performance standards that we emphasize, and make themselves available to be seen by us end up getting their opportunity. Once selected into our program, commitments to provide services to our member institutions during the fall and spring are expected and the geographic freedom that allows some to be accepted from outside our area can become a burden, so that is something for you to consider. The secret is being prepared to deliver when that opportunity presents itself and to set yourself apart from others so that supervisors will want to give you an opportunity.
Big 12 Conference
Greg Burks Mountain