DICK BURLESON BIO
Richard B. (Dick) Burleson is Vice President of Neel-Schaffer, one of the leading Engineering firms in the United States.
He is a native of Alabama and was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. Dick graduated from Georgia Tech with a Civil Engineering degree.
Besides his engineering career, Dick also rose to the Army Reserves highest rank, that of Major General. He graduated from the Army War College and was Commanding General of the largest Army Reserve Command in the World. His command covered eight states, 40,000 troops and included over 5,000 soldiers placed on active duty during Desert Storm. General Colin Powell personally decorated General Burleson’s units.
One of his highest personal honors came, when General Burleson received the Spirit of America's – Audie Murphy Patriotism Award. He was only the 23rd American to receive this award.
In addition to his engineering and military careers, Dick Burleson has been a football official in the Southeastern Conference for 25 years and worked a full schedule of top SEC games every year as head referee. Dick has served as Chief Referee and President of the SEC. He officiated fifteen major bowl games and the SEC Championship game.
His last game on the field was as the head referee for the National Championship Rose Bowl game.
He is now an SEC staff advisor on officiating and evaluates officials performance each Saturday from the SEC Command Center.
His book, “You Better Be Right”, has reached the #1 Best Sellers list at Barnes & Noble Bookstores.
- "You Better Be Right!" My 25 Years as an SEC Football Official by Dick Burleson “To my knowledge, no SEC official has ever written a book about officiating. SEC officials are successful businessmen who love the game but make mistakes like anyone else. We are actually held to a higher standard than players or coaches, which we readily accept, but no one hurts over a missed call more than the official who made it. So why do we do it? Well, I try to explain in this book. Although I include many humorous incidents from my 25-year career as an SEC official, officiating SEC football is serious business. Every SEC official tries to make perfect calls and ensure the integrity of the game. Our axiom is “Don’t call everything you see---but see everything you call.” I thought about making that principle the title of this book, but I chose instead something Coach Bear Bryant said to me during the Alabama-Vanderbilt game: “You better be right!” I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.”
- *President - SEC Football Officials *Inducted into 2 Alabama Sports Hall of Fames *Birmingham QB Club - Distinguished Service Award *Head Referee for 15 Bowl Games *Head Referee for SEC Championship Game *Head Referee for National Championship Rose Bowl Game *Numerous Military Decorations and Awards *23rd American to receive the Spirit of America Audie Murphy Award *Best-Selling Author *Married to High School Sweetheart *2 Children and 3 Grandchildren