Abrom Douglas Jr. Hall of Fame 2021

Abrom Douglas Jr enlisted in the US Air Force in 1972.  He spent 22 years as a Security Policeman in the service for his country.  Abrom was decorated with the following:   a Joint Service Commendation Medal, three (3) Air Force Commendation Medals, Air Force Achievement Medal, an Air Force Presidential Unit Citation award, four (4) Air Force Good Conduct medals, two (2) National Defense Service medals, and fourteen (14) other decorations or awards all in the service for his country.

In 1981 he began a career with the Miami Dade Police Department until he retired in 2006.  His last assignment was in the Detective Bureau. With fifteen (15) years with the department, he was decorated with over 50 awards and commendations from the department and from the citizens of Miami-Dade County. 

He also worked at the US Attorneys Office in Miami from 2010 until 2015 special detail security.

However, in 1990 Abrom began coaching U-11 & U-12 boys soccer at Cutler Ridge Soccer Club.  He was as they called it a “Ridge Rat.”  He received his “D” coaching license in 1993, the same year he became the Director of Coaching for Cutler Ridge Soccer Club, a position he held for 3 years.  He also was the Vice President for Dade Soccer League from 1993 to 1995. 

Abrom became a US Soccer registered referee in 1996 and already having a reputation for efficiency and accountability, he was appointed the district referee administrator with Bob Vomacka as the FSR State Referee Administrator, who is incidentally in the FLSRC Hall of Fame.

Also during the latter part of the 1990’s Abrom became a referee assignor, referee assessor, and a referee instructor.

Abrom’s tenure as the DRA for A-1 lasted for 6 years when he was appointed as the Area A Referee Administrator, a position he held for 12 years until 2014.  As ARA he was responsible for the largest area of referees registered in Florida during that time period, and overseeing many entry level and recertification courses for grade 8 referees.

In December 2015, when the FASA and FYSA Presidents were reconstituting the Florida State Referee Committee to become FL Soccer SRC, Inc., Abrom was requested to submit an application as a candidate to become the new State Referee Administrator.  Abrom was appointed by FASA as their SRA, and he was also agreed upon by FYSA as their SYRA.   The appointment became effective on January 1, 2016.

Abrom’s appointment placed him on the Board of Directors of Florida Adult Soccer Association, and as the current Florida State Referee Administrator, he is also the designated Chief Operating Officer of FL Soccer SRC, Inc., otherwise known as FLSRC.

The first year in 2016 was rough.  There were two registration and  recertification website failures, audit problems, IRS problems, and risk management issues.  Abrom would not be deterred.

In 2017, things began to turn around, he initiated a FLSRC Facebook presence for social media, he planned for a new internet website for the coming 2018 year, and he also set the ground work for a new stable online learning environment and registration system.

In 2018 the FLSRC Match Officials Notebook was commissioned and the notebook has been updated each year since.  In 2019 the first ever all Women’s Referee Initiative was imagined and Nami Imaizumi, who in her generation was one of the top 10 female referees in the world, Abrom appointed Nami to lead the women’s initiative.  There has now been two women’s initiatives so far, and using the success of two women’s initiatives, a first ever all male referee initiative was imagined and then held in January 2021 right here in this hotel.

With the year of Covid-19 in 2020, soccer refereeing has suffered like most everything else in our country.  Almost a whole year has been lost for referee education and development.  Seeing the need to get back to the grass roots level and begin training a new generation of up and coming referees, Abrom challenged his State Director of Instruction and several others to come up with a plan to attempt to start filling the referee “pipeline” like it was several years ago.  In the Spring of this year 2021, the “REDI” program was conceived along with the new scouting and mentor reporting systems which was added to the Officials Management System (OMS), the operating computer brains for FLSRC.

Earlier this year an application was submitted to nominate Abrom Douglas Jr as a candidate for induction into the FLSRC Hall of Fame. 

Abrom’s nomination was based on general criteria #1, 2,3, and especially #4.  The criteria is as follows:

  1. Contribution to the State of Florida Referee Program must be extended over a minimum combined period of ten (10) years.
  2. The service may or may not be continuous over the years.
  3. Contributions to the program may be any one or combination in the following areas:
    1. Referee
    2. Referee Instructor
    3. Referee Assessor
    4. Referee Administrator

Criteria #4 states:  The service must be such that it has left a lasting positive effect and has brought credit not only to him/her self but to FLSRC and the game of soccer.

Abrom Douglas Jr was a FLSRC DRA and ARA for over 18 years. With that length of time for service as a volunteer,  he was a lasting positive influence over the referees he served in Area A and now  to the referees he serves statewide.  Since his appointment six years ago as the FLSRC State Referee Administrator and Chief Operating Officer for FL Soccer SRC Inc., Abrom’s honest character and strong moral principles has guided him in a way that has literally re-written the imaginary best practices handbook that quite a few state referee committees operated under for many, many years.  The FLSRC has been spoken of nationally and studied as an ideal role model for state referee committees to follow operating under the US Soccer Referee Program directives and US Soccer policy.

As a result of Abrom Douglas Jr’s unselfish, faithful service as a volunteer for over 25 years in the State of Florida as a referee, a referee instructor, a referee assessor, and a referee administrator to 4, 000  and sometimes in the past 5,000, or 6,000 members of the Florida Soccer Referee Program, Abrom Douglas Jr has left a lasting positive effect and brought unselfish credit not only to himself but to FLSRC and the game of soccer.  As chairman of the FLSRC Hall of Fame Committee, I am please to announce that Abrom Douglas Jr was a unanimous choice to be inducted in the FLSRC Hall of Fame for the year 2021.