Welcome J.P. Spicer-Escalante, State Director of Assessment

Welcome J.P. Spicer-Escalante, State Director of Assessment

The Utah State Soccer Referee Committee (USSRC / SRC) is pleased to announce the appointment of J.P. Spicer-Escalante to the position of State Director of Assessment. State Referee Administrator, Scott Harward, is looking forward to new ideas that J.P. is ready to implement in our state, “We’re very excited to utilize the experience, knowledge and skill that J.P. brings with him to our state,” he said, “and we are looking forward to the new vision and leadership that will undoubtedly benefit our referees, young and old.”


During his almost 40-year soccer career, J.P. Spicer-Escalante has had a wide range of experiences as a player, referee, instructor, and assessor. Although he achieved National Referee status in 1997, J.P. began refereeing at the recreational youth level at the age of 16. He subsequently refereed in the youth, high school, and college ranks, as well as at the professional and international levels. He has been recognized at the national level by being selected to officiate at the National Youth Finals (1992, 1994), the National Amateur Finals (1997, 2000), and at the first Soccer Festival (1996), as well as in National Open Cup competition. J.P. began working at the professional level in 1993, officiating both as a Referee and an Assistant Referee in the A-League and USL, and as an Assistant Referee in Major League Soccer. He also worked as both a Referee and as an Assistant Referee at the international level during his career. J.P. retired from active refereeing as a ‘Grade 3’ National Referee in 2002. After a seven-year hiatus from soccer to attend to family and professional needs, he returned to the game in 2009. He currently serves the U.S. Soccer Referee Program as a National Assessor and as a Referee I.D. Specialist, and for Major League Soccer as a Professional Match Evaluator. When not evaluating referees’ performances on the field or in a stadium, he teaches Spanish at Utah State University in Logan, where he lives with his wife, Maria Luisa, and his son, Dani.


The SRC would like to thank exiting SDA, Randy Ploeger for the years of service that he has given to referees and the referee program here in our state. His leadership, mentoring, dedication, and countless hours of service have resulted in the successful advancement of many of our most prolific referees. Thankfully, Randy has accepted an appointment to take over as the Chairman of the State Referee Committee and will continue to use his knowledge and experience to help move the referee program in a new and exciting direction.


The SRC would also like to express our warmest heartfelt gratitude to our previous SRC Chairman, Dick Friedman.  Dick has been very instrumental in keeping the SRC on track and overseeing all the referee programs over the past several years.  We’re very excited to announce that Dick will continue to serve the referee community by using his skills and experience to assist in creating a much needed Mentoring Program that will benefit every referee in the state.  Dick will serve as the Chairman of the Mentoring Program Committee. 

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