Interview: Jim Krogstad

Jim Martinho

Jim Martinho: How did you first get into officiating?

JK: I played football in high school, and I started officiating high school freshman games, then moved up to sophomores and JV.

JM: What’s the worst thing a coach has ever said to you about a call?

JK: I can’t tell you the phrase, but it definitely had a few expletives.

JM: Do coaches ever compliment you on calls?

JK: Oh sure. There have been several times when they’ll say “nice call.”

JM: Do you get a chance to enjoy the games that you officiate?

JK: Not really because I’m too focused on every single play. We’ve got so many things that have to go through our minds even before the ball is snapped — keys, specific people that I need to focus on and down and distance. So we really don’t get to follow the actual game itself.

JM: What’s your opinion on instant replay in the college game?

JK: As an association, the Big Ten football association, we’re in favor of instant replay if it helps us get the play right.

JM: What’s the best game you’ve ever officiated?

JK: That’s tough. I would say Penn State at Miami — I think it was either 1999 or 2000. Penn State was No. 2 in the country, and both teams were in the top five at the time. Penn State won in the last minute, and it was just an amazing game to be a part of.

JM: Have you umpired many NU games?

JK: I had them twice this year, against Air Force and Wisconsin.

JM: A lot of fans at home probably think they could do an official’s job better than you could. What would you say to them?

JK: I would say that until they’ve tried it and been on the field and witnessed the speed of the game and the size of the players, that they would have no way of knowing how difficult it is.

JM: What are the most difficult types of calls for you to make?

JK: My primary call is holding, so it’s sometimes difficult to tell when the hold does have an effect on the play.

JM: You must see yourself on television a good amount of times during the season.

JK: Yeah, when I get to watch the game afterwards, I’m usually on quite frequently because of where I’m positioned.

JM: Are your decisions ever affected by 80,000 screaming fans at a game?

JK: No. We’re so focused on what we have to do that the noise, even though its loud, it doesn’t affect us.

JM: Have you ever been plowed over by a player during a game?

JK: I’m an umpire, so I stand right behind the linebackers. I get hit by someone every game. I’ve actually been run over twice or three times this year. Once was in the NU-Air Force game, and I got hit head-on in the Iowa-Ohio State game. Neither one was intentional, but where I’m standing, it’s going to happen.

JM: Was it an NU player that hit you? I can say something to him.

JK: No, it was an Air Force player.