Director of PRO2 Match Officials Alex Prus was recently inducted into the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association Hall of Fame, a prestigious award commemorating his commitment and success both on and off the field.
NISOA selects two new and outstanding individuals to join their Hall of Fame each year, with inductees dating back to 1964, and this year they have recognized Prus, a FIFA referee between 2004 and 2009.
Having started out as a player in his homeland, he appeared in the Polish second division before switching his focus to gaining a master’s degree. He began to officiate during his studies and three years after graduating, Prus moved to the US, progressing from a state referee to MLS assistant referee by 1997.
He refereed the 2007 MLS Cup Final and officiated more than 200 MLS matches until 2011, as well as four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Finals. On the college side, Prus officiated seven NCAA Men’s College Cup Championships and was in charge of the Final in 2008.
The 2009 MLS Referee of the Year – also a New Jersey Soccer Association Hall of Famer – received his most recent recognition in an online ceremony with NISOA Associate Director Tom Richardson. The achievement was marked at the end of a Zoom masterclass Prus had conducted with the country’s college officials, hosted by PRO official and NISOA Managing Director Tori Penso.
“Thank you so much, I’m so speechless and I didn’t expect it at all,” Prus said of his surprise.
“I’m really honored to join the elite group of officials from the college game. Thank you so much.”
In other circumstances, NISOA and PRO would have relished the opportunity to congratulate Prus on his triumph in person, but the former referee was no less delighted with the accolade.
“I wore the green uniform for the first time in the MLS Cup, I used the first vanishing spray in its opening game in the MLS, and now I’m the first inductee for NISOA over Zoom; it’s not going to get better than that, I guess.
“Thank you, I appreciate it.”
WATCH: See the moment when Alex Prus was informed of his Hall of Fame award.