Carmel man named top high school swimming official for the year


By Ken Severson

More than two decades ago, Joe Brozinick decided he wanted to remain involved with competitive swimming because of the difference the sport had made in his life. So, he became an official for the IHSAA.

Last month, the Carmel resident was recognized for his efforts with the 2023-24 Interscholastic Athletic Official Award for excellence in the sport of swimming and diving. A committee representing 24 officials’ associations in Indiana selected Brozinick for the honor.

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“The reason why I (officiate) is I did a lot of swimming and I want to give back to the sport,” Brozinick said. “Swimming has taught me work ethic and how to budget my time.”

Each year, the IHSAA, in cooperation with the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials Association, recognizes and honors an outstanding official in each sport. Officials selected for the distinction have gone above and beyond to serve their association, community and the IHSAA.

Recipients of the Interscholastic Athletic Official Award have demonstrated exceptional qualities of leadership, dedication and loyalty to the sport, student-athletes and fellow officials, according to the IHSAA.

Brozinick has been a licensed IHSAA swimming and diving official for 25 years. During his time with the IHSAA, he has been assigned to work 31 boys’ and girls’ sectionals, eight regionals and 10 state finals events.

Brozinick said his job is no different than officials in other sports like football, baseball or basketball in that he ensures everything is done on the level and there’s no unfair advantage.

“I make sure the proper swim strokes are made and that no one jumps the start,” Brozinick said. “In all the time I’ve been doing this, I will say the officiating is better. The IHSAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations have done a fairly good job of trying to help officials improve with information and clinics for officiating.”

Brozinick is also a member of the Fall Creek Officials Association and has assisted the organization’s swim chair with meetings and clinics for several years.

Officiating tends to take up much of Brozinick’s time during swimming season.

“My wife always tells me she dreads February because she knows every weekend, I’m not going to be home,” Brozinick said. “Whether it’s doing a meet, training or going to the association meetings, you give up a lot of time, but most of us do it because we want to ensure the officiating is of high caliber and everyone gets a fair shake.”

Brozinick said he will continue to officiate as he enjoys working with students and coaches and helping them. He is also grateful for the relationships he has with his fellow officials, IHSAA staff and school administrators.

Brozinick also said a rewarding aspect for him is how the competitors come up to him and thank him for his efforts.

“It gives you a sense of accomplishment,” Brozinick said. “That makes you feel good that you’re doing something worthwhile.”

The Pennsylvania native was a competitive swimmer throughout childhood and swam for Penn Trafford High School in Harrison City, Pa. He then swam at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Brozinick works as an executive director at Eli Lilly. He and wife, Tammy, have two daughters, Ashley and Rachel.