Earvin Biggs (1930 - 2007)

Earvin Biggs was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but moved to Pittsburgh in 1941, after the death of his parents. He attended Peabody High School, followed by Fayetteville State Teachers College in North Carolina. After serving two years in Korea as a member of the U.S. Army, Earvin received his master’s degree in counselor education from the University of Pittsburgh.

Earvin began his career as a math teacher, and over three decades served as assistant principal of Frick, Manchester, Fort Pitt, Stevens, and Beltzhoover Elementary School. He served as Dean of Students at Greenway Middle School, and Principal of Northview Heights and Arlington Elementary Schools. He retired in 1993.

Tim Jenkins

Tim was a sports star at Rankin and Homestead High Schools, playing football, basketball, and sandlot baseball. After graduating from Kentucky State University, he was sent to Vietnam, where he served as an MP. While serving, he participated in a mission to rescue Green Berets. Remarkably, he survived the mission, when the helicopter he was in was shot down.

Tim taught biology at Rankin High School and became head football coach in 1951. He became the standard bearer/assigner of PUOA in 1975. During his time with the organization, he was assigned many college games. These games included Robert Morris, Point Park, Chatham, Carlow, Beaver County Community College, and Allegheny County Community College. He also officiated men’s division 1 college games between Robert Morris and Texas Christian University.

Gerald Henry "Jerry" Benson

Jerry Benson, one of the original founders of PUOA, is a big reason our chapter evolved into what it is today. Back when there were only a few black officials, calls often didn’t go your way. However, when you stepped onto the court and saw that Jerry would be officiating the game, you knew you had a fair chance. 

Jerry always stressed education as a vehicle to success.  He taught many years at Brookline Elementary School, molding young minds and supporting their dreams.  He was the same as a basketball official.  He knew it was important to manage the little things, and know the rule book cover to cover.

Jerry was one of the best hurdlers in the country, as well as being an outstanding running back at South Hills High School.  At the Baldwin Invitational in 2004, he was elected to the Western Pennsylvania, Track and Field Hall of Fame. 

Jerry passed away November 8, 2005, leaving a legacy and impact that makes PUOA the strong chapter it is today. 

Greg Smith



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Greg Smith is one of the founders of Pittsburgh Urban Officials Association. Everyone knows him as “Killer.” Greg has provided everything the chapter has ever needed. From guidance, to technique, comedy, even a shoulder to cry on and vent, whenever you needed it. Add to that the fact that Greg is a tremendous official, makes him the ultimate official. You haven't lived until you've done a game with Greg and shared that after game meal. The stories will flow, along with the knowledge from the master. Camaraderie is one of the most valuable assets when you officiate a game.


Tom Adams

Tom was a strong founding member of PUOA. The possessor of impeccable mechanics, Tom knew the pitfalls to avoid in being a strong organization. The association had to avoid a lack of accountability and transparency, pushing of personal agendas, reading the press clippings, lacking personal and organizational growth, a craving for power, and finally, not recognizing the need to build and maintain relationships. He never wavered from these principles, and he constantly reminded young officials the importance of avoiding this damaging narrative.

     Tom was close friends with Herb Smith. They even shared an apartment together when they were going to school at the University of Pittsburgh. The knowledge and expertise about life and basketball, was tantamount in that apartment. Strong organizations are born from strong individuals.

Kenny Wade

Kenny was one of the founding members of PUOA. The Wade family exemplified pride, work ethic, knowledge, and the ability to relate to the youth in the inner city. Kenny brought all those attributes to Pittsburgh Urban. Kenny's presence made everyone around him strive to be their best, because Kenny never settled for less.

     Kenny was a tremendous athlete in multiple sports, which was a constant element for members of the Wade family. Whether it was football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport that involved a ball, Kenny could not only play it, but he also knew how to teach it. It was a natural progression for Kenny to teach members of PUOA.

Herb Smith

Herb was one of the true power forces of PUOA and an original founding member. Herb worked at the University of Pittsburgh and provided a place for the chapter to meet. Dr. Herb C. Smith was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Smith coordinated academic services for athletes and served as Executive Assistant Director of the Intercollegiate Athletic Program, and the NCAA Division I National Championship football team. Dr. Smith along with Tom Adams began working with a group of Black officials who were refereeing intramurals, recreation, and CYO games. They would meet in second floor offices of the Pitt Fieldhouse to review critiques of their games. It was difficult for minority officials to find a home with other basketball chapters. This was viewed by these aspiring Black men as a major barrier. One of the great minds whose principles led the organization to flourish.

Edward Rufus Fleming

Ed was one of the original founders of the chapter. He enjoyed a wonderful basketball career. Fleming was selected in the 1955 NBA draft by the Rochester Royals, after a collegiate career at Niagara. Ed played in both the National Basketball Association and the Eastern Professional Basketball League. Fleming's career totals in the NBA are 2511 points, 1532 rebounds, and 544 assists in five seasons. He was a graduate of Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, where he shattered City League records. Fleming attended Niagara University from 1951 to 1955. For Fleming, 1955 was a monumental year, because he was the 16th overall pick in the NBA draft. He also played for the Minneapolis Lakers, the Wilkes- Barre Barons, and the Sunbury Mercuries. To illustrate the remarkable player that Ed Fleming was, they retired his number 70 at Niagara University. This is the initial expertise that helped to form the Pittsburgh Urban Officials Association.

Joe Babers

This outstanding official was one of the founders of our chapter.  When you talk about an official’s mechanics, there was none better than Joe. Crisp and almost majestic in his delivery, he always garnered attention from his peers. He taught that same excellence to members of PUOA. This was just another reason why PUOA was destined for greatness. Appearance on the court is one of the most important factors in becoming a good official. Joe was one of the best.


Arguably, one of the greatest officials of all time, Jim Kelly was one of the founders of the Pittsburgh Urban Officials Association. He was also a relative of other family members who became officials. Charley Kelly, a legend in Western Pennsylvania, and Bruce Kelly, a tremendous referee, kept the lineage front and center.

Jim, an outstanding official who pioneered the efforts to bring a wider range of games to the chapter, brought style and grace to Pittsburgh Urban. Jim possessed a strong on court presence, and there was never any doubt who was in charge.

Len Duncan

Len was known as the “hustling official.” End to end, he consistently beat the players up and down the court. Len, being one of the founders, taught this attitude to all the young officials. The speed and grace of Len brought attention to the chapter. He helped to move Pittsburgh Urban forward.

Will Struthers

Will was the eleventh founder of the group. Will knew the rule book cover to cover and had the ability to communicate these rules to the players and coaches with a smile. Coaches respected Will because he could explain the rule and how it related to the play.

Jim Winbush

Jim was a founding member who not only was a good official, he also oversaw all the chapter paperwork. Jim made sure all the members got what they needed to officiate into the P.I.A.A. on time.