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Where are they now? Kevin Terry

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Last weekend Kevin Terry, a former member of the Lipscomb soccer team, was on NBC Sports as one of the officials for an MLS game between New York and Kansas City. A member of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) his goal is to become a FIFA referee. This weekend he is headed to Philadelphia for another MLS matchup. He has also started the school year at Whitsitt Elementary where he teaches physical education. Despite an extremely busy schedule Kevin spent some time this week with lipscombsports.com. for an extended version of Where Are They Now?

What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?

“I played soccer from 2004 through 2007. I played center-midfield.

“Jim Maddux was my freshman year coach. Charles Morrow coached me the last three years.”

What persuaded you to choose Lipscomb?

“I was from Dallas, Texas, but I was recruited by Jim at a soccer camp at Clemson University. I had not heard of Lipscomb.

“When I came to Lipscomb on my campus visit I liked the students, the atmosphere and the camaraderie of the team. I liked the look of the school. It wasn’t too big. It wasn’t too small.”

Tell us about your work as a referee?

“Right now I am considered to be a Grade III referee which is a professional referee. In the MLS, the highest level of soccer, I am considered to be a fourth official.

“I don’t work in the middle in the MLS but I work in the middle in NASL Division II and USL Pro. I have refereed games that Ben Page and Garret Pettis (former Bisons players) in USL Pro played in. It’s the circle of soccer.

“The fourth official controls the bench area. He handles the coaches, the substitutes and the stoppage time. If the referee, or one of the assistant referees, gets injured I have to come in as a replacement. That happened last year in Montreal when I had to replace one of the assistant referees.

“Every weekend I am in a different city. This weekend I go to Philadelphia. Last week I was in Kansas City. This summer I spent two weeks at a tournament in Toulon, France.”

What is your ultimate goal as a referee?

“Being a FIFA referee is the highest level. That is grade one. My goal is to be at that level in five years. I will be 32.

“I have to be a referee at the top level in the MLS for two or three years before I can qualify. I have been in the MLS for two years, but it doesn’t count since I have been a fourth referee. I haven’t been a center referee at that level.

“The center referee is the one in charge. He is the person in control of the referees. He is the one that runs the most.

“Every game I have an assessor observing me at the game. There is also someone watching on TV where they can look at replays. Those evaluations can help you go up the ladder or down the ladder.”

Your father, Kevin Terry, Sr., was a referee as well. How has he influenced you?

“My father is retired now, but he is a teacher for referees. He was a FIFA referee and was a referee in the MLS for several years. He also worked some World Cup qualifying matches.

“He is my mentor. He watches every one of my games. If he can’t come to it he watches it on TV or on the Internet.

“He has helped me grow. Watching him referee I Iearned a lot of tricks and how he communicated with players and coaches. He always looked like he was enjoying himself on the field.

“He tells me when I have messed up. He is my biggest critic.”

Did you plan to one day be a referee?

“I always was good at it. My parents wanted me to do the same thing as my Dad.  But I really didn’t like it. I wanted to play professionally. I wasn’t really good enough to do that so the next best thing was being a referee.

“Other people were telling me I was good so I listened to them. Your parents always are telling you that you are good at something, but it wasn’t until other people told me, `hey, you are really good and you should try it’, that I really went for it.

“It is always a plus when you have played the game. You understand the players. You understand what they are going through on a tackle and what their mindset is. It helps me to know where to be on the field.”

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

“I guess it would be the `Battle of the Boulevard’ my senior year when the whole hill was completely full. They did a blackout night and had a band playing in the parking lot.

“It was a great atmosphere. That is probably the most fans I had ever played in front of.”

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

“Jim Maddux was awesome. We still stay in contact. His brother Jeff was an assistant.

“Charles Morrow and Kevin Burk were big influences. We are always text messaging. We keep up-to-date with what is happening.

“I was one of 14 freshmen and I was a starter. Jim expected a lot from us as freshmen. He held us to a very high standard. That made me want to be better.

“My freshman year we lost every single game. But Jim always kept pushing us. At Hillsboro we struggled. I wanted to push my players like Jim pushed us.

“Charles and Kevin always pushed me in practice. They always knew we could do better. By my senior year we went to the playoffs for the first time.

“They all four were always there trying to make us better whether it was fitness, skills or tactics.”

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

“I met my wife, Devin, at Lipscomb and we dated all four years. We have been married for a year. The best part of my life has been my four years at Lipscomb.

“I guess it is going back to sports, but I loved going to all of the basketball games.”

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

“The life lessons I learned there like walking the Christian faith. I liked the atmosphere there.

“Basically, you knew almost everybody on campus or you saw them around campus. You had a good group of friends that you knew and could always rely on.”

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

“Trish Hodgson and Kent Johnson.

“Miss Trish was my favorite. She was going through a lot with her health while she was teaching, but she was always there and giving it 200 percent in the classroom. It was great having her.

“I wasn’t the best student in Dr. Johnson’s classes. His classes were the hardest classes. He always made me think. I really appreciate what he did for me.”   

Where do you live now?

“We are living in Brentwood.”

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

“I am an elementary school teacher at Whitsitt Elementary. This will be my second year. I coached soccer at Hillsboro three years and was a teacher there for two years.”

Tell us about your family.

“My wife’s name is Devin. We have been married for one year.”

My email is ktjrusref@gmail.com.