Some are still being written, like that of Bobby Dibler, whose exploits on the basketball court took him from AC to the very highest levels of the collegiate sport and next will land him in the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame (PSHOF).
The 2019 PSHOF ceremony, featuring five inductees in all, is from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Amarillo Civic Center’s Grand Plaza. The event is free and open to the public.
Dibler (pronounced DY-blur) will become the 181st PSHOF inductee, an honor he will accept not so much for having played his sport, but for having refereed it.
The Amarillo High product indeed was a standout guard at AC – he averaged 21 points a game throughout 1962 and 1963, while playing for AC’s legendary head coach Bob Carter, himself the 53rd member to be installed in the PSHOF.
However, Dibler’s true legacy blossomed after his playing career wound down – he picked up a whistle and went on to officiate more than 1,000 NCAA Division I basketball games, including three Final Fours and a pair of extraordinary national championship tilts.
Those in attendance for Dibler’s PSHOF induction are certain to learn a great deal about his 25-year officiating career, which included 14 years working college basketball’s preeminent tourney, March Madness, and two particularly enduring championship games.
Dibler was on the court for the final in 1982 when Michael Jordan’s basket in the waning seconds gave North Carolina a single-point victory over Georgetown.
He also worked the final in 1985, when an underdog Villanova team narrowly toppled heavily favored Georgetown in an upset for the ages.
Dibler was a 5-11 guard at Amarillo High, where he made the all-district team as a senior. As a sophomore at AC he helped lead the Badgers to the national junior college tournament in Kansas, where he was named to the all-tournament team.
He parlayed that success into a scholarship at Texas Western College, where he played two years under head coach Don Haskins, who the year after Dibler’s graduation would lead his Miners to an unforgettable NCAA national title.
Dibler retired after 32 years working in sales for Proctor & Gamble. He finally hung up his referee’s whistle, too, in 1993, but then took a job coordinating the officiating for several large NCAA Division I conferences.
Today Dibler serves as head of the Western Officiating Consortium and coordinates officials for the WAC, Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12 and West Coast Conferences.
As part of the consortium’s annual training clinic in 2017, Dibler was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Bobby Dibler Award, which recognizes perseverance and dedication to men’s basketball officiating.
The next chapter in Dibler’s success story will be written on Feb. 10, when the former AC Badger is inducted into the PSHOF.