Roger Ayers speaks at Roanoke Valley Sports Club

Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 10:36 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - Fresh off his fourth Final Four assignment in the spring, veteran college basketball official Roger Ayers was back home Monday night as the guest speaker at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club.

However, Ayers wasn’t the only guest. Roanoke College wrestling coach Nate Yetzer was also on hand to promote the upcoming Southeast Open November 4.

Ayers, a Patrick Henry High School graduate, then told stories about his start in the business and some of his run-ins with big-time coaches.

The veteran official works games all over the nation and is back as an ACC Crew Chief this season, but he says there was still plenty of emotion returning to the Salem Civic Center.

“Every time they asked me I still I’m like, if I can work it into my schedule, I’m definitely going to do it because this is home,” he says. “Coming back in this arena. I remember coming to work to watch the high school Christmas tournaments. I’d sit in the upper deck as a JV ref and say one day I would love to work on the Civic Center floor, and then to work the high school tournaments here, and then the ODAC tournament here. To come back in this building and to see a lot of old friends that certainly helped me get to where I’m at now, a lot of ACC coaches told me that they’d rather be out and working back in high school in Roanoke, but it’s awesome to see so many people that built my career.”