Frankie Bordeaux is an NCAA basketball official with fifteen years of experience and more than 400 games under his belt. Also a businessman and youth advocate, Frankie Bordeaux is proud of the impact that his job has on the lives of young people. Recently, A Gathering of Experts sat down with Frankie Bordeaux to ask him about the life of a referee.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of being a referee?
Frankie Bordeaux: It’s the attention to detail. You have to focus on the game 100% of the time, because if you lose focus for even a split second, you can miss a big call and significantly impact the game.
Q: Is it stressful to know that you have the power to decide the outcome of the game?
Frankie Bordeaux: It is stressful at times, but I’m confident in my ability to make the right calls and enforce the rules of the game of basketball.
Q: Have you ever made any calls that you wish you could take back?
Frankie Bordeaux: I think all referees have experienced that in their careers. We’re human–just like everyone else. When it happens, we go back later, review the call, and learn from it.
Q: Is it difficult to stay neutral in games?
Frankie Bordeaux: No, it’s not difficult to remain neutral in games. That’s a big part of being a referee—I can’t choose sides! Games can definitely get heated, but it’s a part of my job as a professional to stay completely neutral and call the game as I see it happening in front of me.
Q: How does it feel to make a difficult call?
Frankie Bordeaux: It can be hard. There’s sometimes pressure to take a hands off approach, but as a referee, my job is to make sure everyone plays by the rules—and that can mean making difficult decisions that can influence the game.
Q: Do you feel pressure from the fans, coaches, and players?
Frankie Bordeaux: Of course! They are passionate about their team and they want to win, and if they don’t like a call, I hear about it all night. But at the end of the day, they respect the rules just as much as I do. It’s part of the game.
Q: Do you get to interact with the players during the game?
Frankie Bordeaux: I do. As an advocate for young people, I try to use it as an opportunity to calm them down and get them to refocus on the game. I’m not there to distract them—I want to encourage them to play good basketball and set good examples.
Q: What’s the greatest reward in officiating the games?
Frankie Bordeaux: For me, it’s making a difference in these young people’s lives. I like to know that I was a small part of helping them accomplish their dreams in some way. It’s very rewarding.
Q: When did you become a referee?
Frankie Bordeaux: I officiated my first game in 1988.
Q: How many games have you officiated?
Frankie Bordeaux: I’ve presided over more than 400 games in 27 states since I became a referee.
Frankie Bordeaux is a loving father and husband. Frankie and Faye Bordeaux have five children. Frankie and Faye, enjoy spending quality time with their family and friends as well as with their church.