| Overall UK Wins: 5 | Overall UK Losses: 5 | Win % 50 |
Date of Birth: October 11, 1917
Date of Death: August 17, 1996
Hometown: Palmerton, PA
For a generalized listing of officials, please consult this page.
|3/16/1962||Kentucky vs. Butler||W||81 - 60||18||13||11||17||1||0||-||Steve Honzo and Charles Eckman|
|3/17/1962||Kentucky vs. Ohio State||L||64 - 74||21||14||21||26||2||0||-||Charles Eckman and Steve Honzo|
|3/13/1964||Kentucky vs. Ohio||L||69 - 85||20||11||12||29||1||0||-||Lou Eisenstein and Steve Honzo|
|12/7/1964||Kentucky vs. North Carolina||L||67 - 82||25||16||20||30||3||1||-||Steve Honzo and Frank Cochran|
|12/18/1965||Indiana at Kentucky||W||91 - 56||13||20||27||17||0||2||-||James Lennon and Steve Honzo (assumed due to fact Strauthers and Stout reffed Air Force/California game)|
|3/12/1966||Kentucky vs. Michigan||W||84 - 77||15||17||19||18||0||1||-||Charles Eckman and Steve Honzo|
|3/18/1966||Kentucky vs. Duke||W||83 - 79||16||19||24||19||2||1||-||Steve Honzo and Thornton Jenkins|
|3/19/1966||Kentucky vs. Texas Western||L||65 - 72||23||12||13||34||2||0||-||Steve Honzo and Thornton Jenkins|
|3/16/1968||Kentucky vs. Ohio State||L||81 - 82||12||10||13||14||0||0||-||Steve Honzo and Philip Fox|
|12/7/1970||Kentucky at West Virginia||W||106 - 100||16||26||37||21||0||1||WVU after fans threw debris on floor after foul called||George Conley and Steve Honzo|
Obituary - Philadelphia Inquirer (August 19, 1996)
Steve Honzo, 78, one of the East Coast's best-known basketball referees in the 1960s and '70s, died Saturday at North Broward Medical Center in Pompano Beach, Fla., where he had been ill with pneumonia.
Mr. Honzo, a big man with a deep, year-round tan and coal-black hair, was a familiar face to Philadelphia-area college basketball fans, working Big Five and Ivy League games into a busy schedule that also included the Atlantic Coast Conference and even high school games whenever he was able to accommodate them.
The Palestra, on the University of Pennsylvania campus, was one of his favorite sites to work because the crowd's proximity seemed to make the fans part of the game.
A former high school player from Palmerton, Pa., in the Allentown area, Mr. Honzo got his start officiating girls' high school basketball in 1944, when he earned $3 a game. He never lost his appreciation of basketball as a worthwhile activity for young people; in retirement in Florida, he continued to officiate as a youth-league volunteer.
Known for his ability to incite a crowd (or a coach) with his emphatic calls and dramatic gestures, Mr. Honzo had worked his way up to officiating college games by the mid-1950s. The National Basketball Association selected him for part-time duty in the early '60s, but soon decided to go with full-time referees and made its officials choose between the pro and college games.
Mr. Honzo chose the college game, and he continued to work as a mill foreman for the New Jersey Zinc Co. in Palmerton, often driving all night from an officiating assignment to arrive in time for his 6 a.m. shift. He put in 44 years with the company.
But it was through his work as a referee that Mr. Honzo achieved a measure of fame. He was picked to work the ACC's postseason tournament nine times and officiated the championship game six times; he was chosen to work 19 NCAA tournaments, seven Final Fours, and four national-championship games; and he worked 12 National Invitation Tournaments, including nine championship games.
Billy Packer, a college basketball analyst for CBS, described Mr. Honzo as the premier college official of his time, saying he had set the standard by which other officials should be measured.
Mr. Honzo retired from officiating in 1979. Sen. Bill Bradley (D., N.J.), whose games Mr. Honzo had worked at Princeton, nominated him for the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Pennsylvania All Sports Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hall of Fame, and the Lehigh Valley Hall of Fame.
Survivors include his wife, Mary; daughters Kathryn A. Wolter and Margaret L. Rapp; a son, Steven Gregory Honzo; a brother; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A Mass of Christian burial will be said at noon tomorrow at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Deerfield Beach, Fla.