Hall of Fame Inductee page:
reprinted from the Class of 2022 Induction Program:
BILL FOX – Officiating his way into the CLHOF
One of the finest officials in lacrosse history, Bill Fox was also an accomplished box and field lacrosse player. He participated in numerous provincial and national championships including playing for the 1980 Mann Cup champion Brampton Excelsiors. In addition, Bill coached box and field lacrosse at the minor, Junior and Provincial levels.
Furthermore, Bill Fox made significant contributions as a builder including being co-founder of the West Durham Minor Lacrosse Association; Co-founder of the Toronto Field Lacrosse Program; CLA Board of Officials member; and recruiting and training Canadian and American referees. Bill Fox was also co-founder of the International Lacrosse Federation Referees Association. His array of experience in officiating in box and field lacrosse can be described as vast and significant.
Refereeing for over four decades, included among Bill’s accomplishments are Induction into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame in 2021; and recipient of the Allen G. Rae Builder Award from Sports Officials Canada - recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the development of sports officials and the advancement of the sports officiating profession (2010). Bill was also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award (2012), honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
Referee colleague Frank Lawrence commented, “Bill Fox has given so much to lacrosse, both field and box. He mentored countless young officials, giving back to the game in so many ways. It is great Bill is being honoured and recognized in the Officials category for induction into the CLHOF”.
Other refereeing colleagues shared similar sentiments. Ian Garrison noted, "Bill Fox is the most selfless referee I have ever known. He is a refereeing legend". Mark Gardonio stated, "Bill Fox defined teammate and there is no better candidate for this tribute". Lacrosse builder Paul St. John offered this sentiment - "Great teacher of the game because he knows the game. For Bill, it wasn't about Bill, it was always about the game".
Upon hearing he would be entering the CLHOF in the Officials category, Bill Fox responded, “My first feeling when I received the call was the Goosebumps I had as it took a little time for it to sink in. Then, the thoughts of the years spent playing coaching, refereeing, and organizing on different levels. Then, the idea that I will stand alongside so many others that are friends, teammates and other referees”.
In recalling special moments, Bill smiled commenting, “Playing and winning the Mann Cup in 1980 and then having the opportunity to referee and to be the Referee-in-Chief in a Mann Cup. Working the gold medal games in the
International Field Men's and U19 and Indoor Men's Championships. Joining the MILL/NLL in 1992 as the first Canadian referee with my first game having 12,500 fans in the Buffalo Auditorium and to go on to many Championship finals. Hopefully being a good mentor to up-and-coming referees and to pass on knowledge and situations that others had passed on to me. Starting up the West Durham Minor Lacrosse Association. Coaching Box and Field and watching some of those players move into the professional ranks and then refereeing their games at that level”.
In recalling people who had an impact on his success, Bill was quick to note - “First off my wife Angela Fox for keeping the house going while I was on the road as she reminds me on Mother’s Day, birthdays and so many other functions. OLA Supervisor Murray Taylor for having faith in my abilities and assigning the best guys to mentor me through the junior to major games. OLA referee comrades Harry Benham, John Herd, Mike Kake, Gary Martin to name a few. OLA Field official Jim Price who without Jim and his endless work, nationally and internationally both on and off the field as a referee and clinician. Brian Huntley for being the best member of the crew for many years. Graham Lester (England) World Lacrosse (ILF) for his time and love of the game. Graham placed me in the position of Chairman of Indoor Officiating. Jake Curran (USA) for his time and love of the game. MILL/NLL Jack Tucker Director of Officials and Mike Ventura referee. Mike for putting my name forward after working with him in the Brogden Cup field championship. Jack for the time spent helping me to get to the next level as a professional referee. Roy Condon and Richard Tamberrino for their mentorship along with many others. Finally, Joe Lindo from the Toronto Beaches Lacrosse Club for helping me through my start from house league to rep to high school games”.
Bill Fox was an accomplished player and builder. However, his incredible career as an official in both box and field lacrosse catapulted him into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Officials category – Class of 2022.
Bill Fox - Supplemental
- Category: Archives