Harvey named new commissioner of basketball officials

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Mike Harvey talks to his Eureka players last season.

By Ray Hamill — Longtime local basketball coach and official Mike Harvey is taking on a different role this year after being named the new Six Rivers Basketball Officials Association commissioner.

Harvey takes over from Rollin Trehearne, who stepped down from the position earlier this year, and he will no longer serve as an assistant boys coach at McKinleyville High in order to focus on his new role.

The new commissioner, who will be seen as a popular choice and is well liked around the league and the North Coast basketball community, says he is hoping to oversee a number of progressive changes to the association, including adding more officials.

There has been a declining number of officials for most high school sports across the nation in recent years, most notably in the wake of the COVID-19, and that’s something that has affected the scheduling of games here on the North Coast.

Harvey says his immediate focus will be “expanding the officials base” and has already reached out to a number of people in the community, adding around “nine or 10” officials in his first few days in charge.

“I’ve got a good response so far,” he said.

COVID, in particular, affected the number of officials available for games, with the roster of local high school basketball officials dropping from around 50 a decade ago to just 25 in 2022.

Harvey says he would like to get that number up to 40.

“It’s a monumental task,” he said. “But it’s doable.”

The longtime coach, who has been a fixture on the local sidelines for the past 37 years, also has plenty of experience officiating games at the middle school and high school levels.

In addition to adding more officials to the Six Rivers roster, Harvey also wants to implement a new mentor program that will have experienced officials working closely with younger officials.

“Bringing younger officials on board is key to the longtime success of the association,” he said.

He also says he will work closely with the schools to ensure officials are paid on a regular basis instead of just at the end of the season, as has been the case.

Harvey admits he did not consider taking on the new role until a number of local high school coaches reached out to him to encourage him to do so.

“We’re sad to see him leave,” McKinleyville head coach Cindy Semore Clancy said. “But we’re happy he’s willing to take on that position. It’s a big loss for our program, but we needed someone to take on that role.”

The McKinleyville coach added that “I know he’ll do a great job.”

Harvey has had a notable impact as a coach in recent years, including a very successful run at Eureka High, where he led the Loggers to a first outright league title in 18 years last season as well as two Dick Niclai tournament championships.

He joined Semore Clancy’s staff earlier this year and had an immediate impact with the players during the offseason program.

Harvey and the loggers celebrate their Dick Niclai championship earlier this year.

“It’s going to be a big loss for us,” Semore Clancy said. “We had a really good summer with Mike. He brought something we needed, but we also need a commissioner.”

The players too had an immediate impact on Harvey, who travelled with them on some team-bonding trips, including a three-day camp at the University of Oregon.

“I think it was a great experience for them. It was a positive experience for them,” Harvey said of the offseason program. “The thing I’m going to miss the most is the players.”

Jeff Sutton will remain on the staff with Semore Clancy after playing a key role as an assistant coach last winter, while recent Mack graduates Tyler Pelascini and Jacob Smith will both join the staff for the upcoming season.

Trehearne stepped down as association commissioner after 11 years in the role, but the popular longtime official will continue to work games.

The Six Rivers Basketball Officials Association provides officials for around 450 high school games every season.

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