Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Famer and long-time college basketball Tom O'Neill was honored by the Atlanta Tip-off Club Wednesday as the 2012 Naismith Men's College Official of the Year.
O'Neill, who played baseball at NIU from 1966-68, has officiated for over 30 years - including over 20 years in the Missouri Valley (30 years), Big 12 (28), Horizon (26) and Big Ten (24). Over his career, the 1968 graduate has officiated games in 13 different Division I conferences and worked 100 games each of the last seven seasons, bringing his career total to over 2,600 games.
He has also officiated in four different Final Fours, working the 1991 and 2007 national semi-finals games and the 1997 and 2009 national championship games. In his entire career, O'Neill has worked 76 games over 26 different NCAA Tournaments. In addition, he has worked milestone victory games for Homer Drew (700th), Denny Crum (600th), Jim Boeheim (500th) and Bob Knight (500th).
On Nov. 30, 2001, O'Neill and two of his sons - Tom,. Jr. and Rick - became the first family to work an NCAA basketball game when they officiated a contest between Marquette and Houston Baptist in Milwaukee, Wis.
O'Neill has also been inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and hosts the longest-running basketball officiating camp, "The Tom O'Neill Officiating Camp," which is in its 30th year.
He currently resides in Tinley Park, Ill. with his wife of 43 years, Vicki.