The National Federation of State High School Associations has selected Haig Nighohossian, an IHSA soccer and wrestling official from Granite City, as one of 13 individuals to be inducted into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame.
"Haig Nighohossian is one of the most decorated and respected officials in state history and worthy of this prestigious honor, "said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. "Haig exemplifies the virtues that we hope to see in all of our high school sports officials. He epitomizes integrity, fairness and sportsmanship."
Nighohossian is the 25th individual representing the IHSA to be honored in the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame and will be formally honored at an enshrinement ceremony banquet June 27 as a part of the 2013 NFHS Summer Meeting in Denver, Colo.
"I am extremely honored and humbled by this award," said Nighohossian. "I have always loved sports and officiating allowed me to stay active in them.
"I was an average athlete, but felt like I really found my niche in officiating. I have been very lucky to stay healthy and have the longevity I have enjoyed. To be named to the National High School Hall of Fame, it is just like, wow! How do you go beyond this?"
Nighohossian is closing in on 40 years as an IHSA soccer and wrestling official and has combined to work IHSA state finals in the two sports nearly 50 times. He has also served as the coordinator of officials at the boys and girls soccer state tournaments on seven other occasions.
He is a three-time recipient of the NFHS State Official of the Year Award in Boys Soccer (1990, '97, 2001) and has received a Distinguished Service Award from the IHSA, as well as a Service Award from the Granite City Park District for his work with youth athletes. An Illinois Wrestling Coaches & Officials Association Hall of Famer, he is a member of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association and Southern Illinois Soccer Officials Association (SISOA).
Nighohossian is a Granite City native who attended Granite City High School and MacMurray College in Jacksonville. He combined to teach for 40 years at East St. Louis High School and Ridgeview High School, while also coaching at both schools, as well as at Althoff. He remains actively involved in youth soccer in the Granite City area, where he started a youth program.
The other members of the 2013 NFHS National High School Hall of Fame Class include Ed Aston, coach from Connecticut; Chauncey Billups, athlete from Colorado; Ronnie Carter, administrator from Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association; Harrison Dillard, Athlete from Ohio; Richard Floyd, music director from Texas; Kristin Folkl Kaburakis, athlete from Missouri; Jerry Kimmel, official from Kentucky; Chuck Koeppen, coach from Indiana; Chuck Lenahan, coach from New Hampshire; Mike Messere, coach from New York; James Tate, coach from Alabama and Joe Theismann, athlete from New Jersey.