Jack Sprenger, a Tacoma native and Lincoln High of Tacoma and College of Puget Sound grad (1934), officiated football for over 40 years and became only the third official to be in inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame when he was so honored in 1986.
Sprenger earned four football letters at CPS during the 30’s where he was an all-conference guard selection twice, won the school’s scholarship trophy three times, and was named the Loggers’ most valuable player. He was named to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974.
Sprenger envisioned a coaching career for himself until he broke his back in an accident on Mt. Rainier. He was flat on his back in a body cast for three months but recovered. “I ended up in the insurance business and decided to officiate as a substituted for the coaching,” he said in a 1986 interview.
Sprenger, while a resident of Auburn, went on to officiate Washington State High school football for over 30 years and served as the official State football rules interpreter for the WIAA for more than 10 years.
He began officiating high school games in 1930 and college games in 1942 and worked a full schedule of Pacific Coast Conference and Pac-10 games for 27 years. He was chosen to be referee for the “Grandaddy” of the bowl games, the Rose Bowl, in 1953, 1959 and 1967, and also worked in three East-West Shrine games, and refereed the 1964 Sun Bowl game.
He became the Pac-10’s Supervisor of Officials in 1971, a position he held for 15 years. During that time he helped write and interpret the official NCAA football rules while serving on the NCAA Football Rules, Editorial Committee. He also helped write the original NCAA Mechanics Manuel for Seven Man Officiating Crews.