Scott Morrison’s love for swimming led him to officiating after he finished college. He has since served as an official at club, high school and even college swim meets.

Longtime Edward Little swim coach Scott Morrison, shown at Colby College’s Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, will serve as a stroke-and-turn judge at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships later this month in Greensboro, North Carolina. Submitted photo

Morrison, who also has been Edward Little’s swim coach for 21 years, never anticipated he’d have the chance to officiate an NCAA national championship event.

But he’ll do just that from March 20-23 at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get asked to be an essential official at an NCAA meet,” Morrison said. “You are talking about a kid who grew up in Mechanic Falls, Maine, and swam for a local club team and was a decent swimmer at Edward Little. I am honored, humbled. It’s unbelievable.”

Along with the Red Eddies, the 1982 Edward Little High School graduate also swam for the A-L YMCA swim team, which is now known as the Twin City Swim Team.

He got into officiating swimming after graduating from the University of Maine at Presque Isle because there weren’t any coaching positions open. Chris Branch was the club team coach, and Jim Smith was coaching Edward Little.


“I loved swimming and enjoyed my time on the local club team,” Morrison said. “When I finished college and returned to Auburn-Lewiston in 1986, I wanted to give back to the swim community. Jim Smith and Chris Branch were still coaching. They suggested officiating.

“So I started officiating high school, Y meets and college meets. I quickly moved up the ladder because of their mentorship, and I soon became an officials trainer for (high school) and YMCA. I have been the meet director for the KVAC for 29 years and MPA state meet director for 25 years.”

He’s also a head official for the NESCAC championships and has worked at NESCAC meets for the past 10-15 years.

Scott Morrison, far right, has officiated at NESCAC swim meets for the past decade. Later this month, the longtime Edward Little coach will serve as an official at the NCAA Division III championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. Submitted photo

Morrison, who currently coaches the Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland swim coach along with swimmers from several other area high schools, received a letter from the NCAA in the middle of January about the national championship appointment. He was recommended for the role by Bates College swimming and diving coach Peter Casares, and Nancy Bigelow, a longtime swimming coach at fellow NESCAC school Tufts University.

Casares said one of the best officials needs to be at one of the most important meets of the season.

“As a member of the NCAA championship committee last year, I was passionate about getting the best officials from all Division III conferences around the country,” Casares said in an email to the Sun Journal. “It made sense, as it would be helpful for coaches to see officials they may recognize and also be a nice nod to the officials who helped run the meets that sent our best to NCAAs.”


Both Casares and Morrison said the NESCAC is one of the best conferences at the Division-III level. Casares said that experience with the conference made Morrison a perfect candidate to officiate the national championship meet.

“Scott has been the head official of the NESCAC meet for nearly a decade now,” Casares said. “He has led a professional group of officials masterfully. Further, while following all the NCAA rules, he always made it a point to put the athletes first. The NESCAC is the fastest meet in the country from top to bottom, and in my opinion, Scott earned the opportunity to be an official at one of (the) fastest meets in the world.”

A head official communicates with the starters and turn-and-stroke judges. Morrison will be a turn-and-stroke judge at the NCAA championships.

“I will be really watching the swimmers from what we call the flats from the 5-yard line,” Morrison said. “I will watch them 5 yards in, and their turns, and 5 yards out to the flag.”

Officiating has taken Morrison far beyond the Twin Cities and even New England — the NCAA isn’t the first organization over the past handful of years to ask him to officiate a big-time swim meet.

“Two years ago, I was asked to be a referee, starter and stroke and turn — I got to do all three positions at the national Special Olympics meet in Orlando,” Morrison said. “Having that offer, now this offer, and prior to that, right before COVID, I had been asked to be an essential official at the YMCA short course nationals, but that got canceled.

“Just thinking about the past five or six years, I have been asked to do what I consider three pretty big meets. Never thought in my lifetime that would happen.”

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