Larry McIntire, a legendary figure in the North Shore basketball community for more than 50 years, died Monday after a lengthy illness. He was 85.
Mr. McIntire was the commissioner of basketball officials in area leagues, including the Northeastern Conference and Cape Ann League. He was an assigner of officials for the MIAA State Tournament.
He was a mentor and friend to many officials. IAABO Board 130 showed its appreciation for Mr. McIntire’s dedication to high school basketball by naming its annual tournament in his honor.
Past Board 130 President Paul Halloran of Lynn and current Board 130 President David Margossian of Revere were among the officials paying tribute to Mr. McIntire’s career (he is the former Salem superintendent of parks and recreation) and his lifelong commitment to the sport of high school basketball.
Halloran is one of the most highly respected officials in the region with 27 years of experience. He is a college basketball referee and served as Board 130 president from 2003 to 2005. Halloran and fellow official Bob Mullins of Lynn succeeded Mr. McIntire as the preeminent assigners of officials in the area.
Said Halloran, “Larry McIntire had as great an impact on high school basketball on the North Shore as anyone — ever. Larry contributed to the sport for more than 50 years, as a player, official and assigner of officials. His being selected to work on the original Big East staff in 1979 speaks to the fact that he was one of the best officials in the country at the time. As an assigner, he helped thousands of officials get their start and advance to the highest levels. He truly was a legend and can never be replaced.”
Margossian is the reigning president of Board 130 whose members live in northeastern Massachusetts.
“Larry is definitely someone who cared deeply for high school basketball in Massachusetts,” said Margossian. “He was someone who provided a lot of opportunity for others to succeed. He gave them chances. He gave them their first assignments. He helped them by partnering with other officials who could mentor them.
“He defended his officials to the max and built and built a loyalty among the officials that he assigned.”
Margossian’s daughters, Christa and Beth, followed their father into basketball officiating. “Both girls worked for Larry and were very attached and very saddened by his loss,” said Margossian. “My daughters were provided opportunities for female officials to grow quickly and both were successful in making it to the MIAA Tournament at Tsongas Center on multiple occasions.”
Beth Margossian also had the opportunity to referee at the Boston Garden. “She also got her first college assignment from Larry,” recalled David. “Larry was assigning for Fisher Junior College in Boston so he had given Beth the opportunity for a college assignment. Larry supported women officials when no others did. He truly enjoyed women officials growing through the ranks, helping them and encouraging them.”
Mr. McIntire who helped female officials Julie Ruane and Leslie Boucher earn the coveted assignments of refereeing in state championship games.
The Larry McIntire Basketball Tournament will continue in his memory. Margossian said Board 130 will conduct a special tribute to Mr. McIntire during the tournament and at the annual Board 130 Awards Dinner.