Petaluma’s Reischling honored by Chico State

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Former Petaluma High School basketball coach Mark Reischling has been honored with the prestigious “Mac” Martin Award, presented by the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. The award recognizes a former Chico State athlete who has brought distinction to the university and their vocation.

Although Reischling had a career as basketball coach and teacher at Petaluma High School, his real vocation, as well as his passion, is basketball officiating.

He has done it all as a basketball official — earning acclaim for his work and going on to evaluate and mentor others.

He began officiating at the high school level and quickly stepped up to also call community college games.

Reischling said he was humbled by the award. “To be recognized by my alma mater and to receive it with my wife, family and friends was overwhelming and humbling,” he said.

The award was named in honor of Mackay “Mac” Martin, who served Chico State for more than 30 years with “selflessness, integrity and excellence,” according to the event’s program. Reischling received the award at the university’s annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner.

Reischling played basketball for Hillsdale High, College of San Mateo and Chico State College before turning to coaching and teaching. He coached at Gridley High School before coming to Petaluma to teach and become head basketball coach in 1972.

Eventually, as he became more involved in officiating and moved up in the ranks, he was forced to give up coaching. He continued in the classroom, finally retiring from teaching in 2005 after 35 years in the classroom at Gridley and Petaluma high schools.

As an official, he worked some of college’s biggest games, including 23 NCAA tournament selections. He officiated the 2001 NCAA semifinal game between Duke and Maryland.

He also served as an NBA officials observer at Golden State Warriors games and was also director of game grading for the Pac-12 Conference.

He officially retired from refereeing in 2011 at age 65, but in reality he has never stopped being involved. He created the Collegiate Officiating Service that provides and oversees officials for the Bay Valley, Big Eight and Coast collegiate conferences.

He oversees more than 100 officials and is still enjoying his involvement. “I still get a kick out of the challenge,” he explained.

Through his long career as official, administrator, observer and more, Reischling has been first and foremost a teacher.

“I’ve always been a teacher,” he said. “I’ve always been involved in helping other people. I’ve always believed in paying it forward.

“Teaching is teaching,” he added. “When I work with young officials it is just a different curriculum.”

Reischling said whether teaching or officiating, he has always been driven to succeed.

“I think persistency and tenacity have been the bedrock of my success,” he explained. “It (the success) has come from doing what I was taught to do.”

The award, while special, is not the first Reischling, who in 2012 was inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.

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