APEX, N.C. — Jim Burch, the first black man to officiate a basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference, has died at his home in North Carolina. He was 91.

ACC official Jamie Luckie says Burch, whose career spanned 60 years, died at his home in Apex, outside of Raleigh, on Sunday.

Burch’s officiating career actually began in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1959. Ten years later, he was added to ACC staff, although Luckie said he didn’t officiate any games until the next season.

In addition to the ACC and the CIAA, Burch officiated games in the Southern Conference and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. 

Burch was also coordinator of officials for the CIAA before retiring last year.

Recommended for you