Ricky Symmonds has finished his 41st school year providing security for officials at Campbell basketball and football games.
Symmonds played football at Seventy-First and was a teammate of Marvin Powell, who went on to play at Southern California and in the NFL.
Falcons football coach Lawrence Buffaloe and renown education administrator Jack Britt were among those who signed Symmonds’ high school diploma. Both later were at Campbell, Symmonds’ alma mater.
Incidents are rare involving officials at Campbell, but Symmonds once had to restrain coach Hugh Durham at Carter Gym, the former home of CU basketball.
“Carter Gym was small,” Symmonds said. “You would take one step and you would be on the court.”
Durham brought a Jacksonville team to Carter Gym when the Camels were in the Trans-America Conference, now the Atlantic Sun. The former Florida State and Georgia coach thought his team had been victimized by the officials at the end of the game.
“He went in the officials’ locker room,” Symmonds recalled. “He put his hand on one of the officials. You can’t do that. He got in trouble.”
Symmonds has been doing security for so long he’s seen sons of officials call at Campbell. Jamie Luckie and son, Kyle Luckie, have been on a crew at Gore Arena, where Symmonds has a chair in the hall outside the officials’ quarters.
Symmonds meets the officials as they leave the floor.
“I watch their backs,” he said.
Campbell sometimes gets referees from the ACC as well as the Big Ten. Officials occasionally are assigned games at Campbell the night after calling at Duke, North Carolina or N.C. State.
Symmonds helps make their visit to Buies Creek a good one.
“Officials don’t mind coming to Campbell,” Symmonds said.