In Memory of Charles M. Ruter
(July 3, 1920 - February 4, 2012)
“Sir” Charles (Charlie) M. Ruter went to be with the Lord, Saturday,
February 4, 2012 at home with Ruth, his beloved wife of 67 years, holding his hand.
During his last visit with good friend Gordon Bocock (Kentucky Certification Chair),
Charles insisted on seeing the PowerPoint presentation from the recent Officials
Hall of Fame Banquet and fondly recalled the names of basically every picture that
Gordon showed him. He was mentally sharp until the very end, but the old tired body
had run just too many laps and needed some long deserved rest.
Charlie was instrumental in molding track and field officiating in this country
into what it is today. He served as the first National Certification Chair as Administrator
of Officials for AAU beginning in 1976. He continued in that role under AAU, TAC
and USATF until 1992. In 1998 the National Officials Committee created the Charles M. Ruter Award to honor the outstanding
running event official in the country each year.
Obituary - Louisville Courier-Journal
Tuesday, February 7: Visitation from 12:00pm until 8:00pm
Wednesday, February 8: Visitation from 10:00am until the funeral services begin
Fern Creek Funeral Home
5406 Bardstown Road
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:
Mason Dixon Athletic Club
℅ Kenny Morton
Louisville, KY 40211–2619
Charles and Ruth Ruter Track Scholarship Fund at Western Kentucky University
℅ College Heights Foundation
1906 College Heights Blvd.
Bowling Green, KY 41016
Fern Creek High School Track and Field Program
℅ Houston Barber, Principal
Fern Creek High School
Louisville, KY 40211–2619
Charles Ruter graduated from New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana in 1939
where he was a member of the Basketball and Track and Field Teams. He entered Western
Kentucky State Teachers College on a basketball scholarship in September 1939. While
at Western he also played baseball. He was a member of Ed Diddle’s nationally ranked
“Hilltopper” basketball team in the early 40’s wand was a proud member of the WKU
team that was runner-up in the 1942 National Invitational Tournament played in the
old Madison Square Garden in New York City. He holds both a B.S. (1946) and a master’s
degree (1947) from Western Kentucky University and he went on to serve the education
profession for 37 years.
His Professional Years
- Okalona High School (1947–1948) … . . Classroom Teacher of English,
Journalism and American History.
- Fern Creek High School (1948–1954) … . . Classroom Teacher of English,
Journalism. Yearbook and School newspaper sponsor. Head Coach of Basketball and
- Eastern High School (1954–1955) … . . Classroom Teacher of English and
Journalism and Director of Athletics.
- Eastern High School (1955–1965) … . . Assistant Principal
- VanHoose Education Center (1965–1971) … . . Director of School &
- VanHoose Education Center (1971–1976) … . . Assistant Superintendent
- Vanhoose Education Center (1776) … . . Assistant Superintendent of Administration.
- Brown Hotel Center (1976–1977) … . . Assistant Superintendent of Internal
- Brown Hotel Center (1977–1979) … . . Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary
His Military Service
- 1942 … . . Volunteers of US Navy service under V–12 Midshipman Program.
- 1943 … . . Called to active duty (July 1, 1943).
- 1944 … . . Received Ensign commission at Northwestern (July 19, 1944)
- 1944 – 1946 … . . United States Navy active service in Pacific theatre during
World War II. Ensign, Ltjg while serving aboard the USS Clarendon – Attach Personnel
- 1953 – 1958 … . . Served as Evaluator for Naval Reserve Surface Division in
- 1958 – 1967 … . . Served as the Training for Executive Officers for Surface
Division in Louisville, Kentucky.
- 1968 – 1973 … . . Served as the Naval Academy Information Officer for the
US Navy Support Unit of Louisville, Kentucky.
- Placed on US Naval Reserve Retired and is currently a Lieutenant Commander DR in
the US Naval Reserve Retires status.
His Professional and Community Memberships and Positions
- KHSAA Track and Field Meet … Meet Official (1953 – Present)
- Jefferson County Administrators Club … Secretary/Treasure (1957 – 1959)
- Fifth District Education Association … Parliamentarian (1956 – 1959)
- KHSAA 6th/7th Region Basketball … Tournament Manager (1956 – 1976)
- Falls Cities Western Alumni Association … President (1957 – 1962)
- Joint Alumni Council of Kentucky … Board of Directors (1959 – 1960)
- Middletown Rotary Club … Board of Directors (1960 – 1961)
- Western Kentucky Alumni Association … President (1960 – 1961)
- Kentuckiana Cinder Club … Charter Member & President (1963 – 1965)
- Kentucky Education Association … Parliamentarian (1965)
- Louisville Quarterback Club … Board of Directors 1965 – 1967)
- Sportsman Supper Club … Charter Member (1965), Board of Directors (1965 –
1969), President (1968 – 1969)
- Mason Dixon Athletic Club … Charter Member (1965 – Present)
- KHSAA State Basketball Tournament … Head Statistician (1965 – 1968)
- Kentucky Colonels (ABA Basketball) … Official Scorer (1967 – 1975)
- Kentuckiana Public Television Corporation … Board of Directors (1967–1979)
- KHSAA State Boys Basketball Tournament … Official Scorer (1969 – 2005)
- 14th District PTA … Corresponding Secretary (1971 – 1974)
- 15th District PTA … Board of Managers (1975 – 1979)
- Bellwood Presbyterian Home for Children … Board of Directors (1976–1984)
- Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels … Member (1980 – Present)
- KHSAA State Girls Basketball Tournament … Official Scorer (1991 – 2005)
His Track and Field Experience
- Officiated the Kentucky Relay … 35 years
- Officiated KHSAA Track & Cross-Country Meets … 60 years
- Officiated Mason Dixon Games … Meet Director, Referee and Public Address …
- Officiated the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships … 18 years
- Officiated the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships … 15 years
- Officiated the Goodwill Games in Seattle, Washington … 1990
- Officiated the Goodwill Games in New York City … 1998
- Officiated the National Olympic Sports Festival … 12 years
- Officiated the United States Olympic Trials in each of the following years: 1972,
1976, 1980, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004
- Officiated The Athletic Congress National Senior Meet … 11 years
- Officiated the Old AAU National Meet … 10 years
- Officiated the Jesse Owens Classic … 20 Years
- Public Address Announcer for the NAIA (Indoor/Outdoor) … 25 years
- Officiated two Pan American International events conducted in the USA in 1983 and
- Officiated the following international track and field meets
- 1971 … USA vs. Pan Africa @ Duke University in North Carolina
- 1973 … Martin Luther Games @ Duke University in North Carolina
- 1974 … USA vs. Russia @ Duke University in North Carolina
- 1975 … USA vs. Pan Africa and West Germany @ Duke University
- 1982 … USA vs. Russia @ Indianapolis, Indiana
- 1983 … USA vs. Great Britain and East Germany @ Los Angeles, Cal.
- 1984 … Field Event Referee for the Olympic Games @ Los Angeles
- 1996 … Officials Coordinator for the Olympic Games @ Atlanta, Georgia
- Officiated conference championships and major competitions at the following: Southeastern
Conference Track and Field Championships, Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships,
Atlantic Coast Conference Track and Field Championships, Mid Continent Conference
Track and Field Championships, Mid American Conference Track and Field Championships,
Ohio Valley Conference Track and Field Championships, Sun Belt Conference Track
and Field Championships, Southern Conference Track and Field Championships, Conference
USA Track and Field Championships, Indiana Collegiate Track and Field Championships,
Kansas Relays, Drake Relays, Penn Relays, Millrose Games, US Marine Corps Relays,
Dogwood Relay, Tom Black Relays, SEMO Relay, Sea Ray Invitational and Olympic Invitational.
His Track and Field Positions and Honors
- 1969 … Assistant Manager for USA vs. All-European Team @ Stuttgart, West Germany.
- 1975 … Head Manager for USA Track Team tour of Red China for one month.
- 1976 – 1979 … Administrator of AAU Track Officials as Certification Chair.
- 1977 … Inducted into 1st Hall of Fame … Sportsmen’s Supper Club of Louisville.
- 1979 – 2004 … Kentucky Association of USATF Officials Certification Chair.
- 1979 – 1992 … Administrator of TAC/USATF Officials as Certification Chair.
- 1980 … Head Manager for Seven Countries International Meet @ Tokyo, Japan.
- 1981 – 1984 … Administrator of Official Selection Committee for Los Angeles
- 1983 … Head Manager for USA Team at the Pan American Games @ Caracas, Venezuela.
- 1983 … Inducted into 2nd Hall of Fame … NAIA
- 1983 … USATF President’s Award … Outstanding
achievement in Track and Field.
- 1983 … [Andy Bakjian Award](http://www.usatf.org/groups/officials/awards/andy-bakjian-award-info.asp
- Andy Bakjian Award") … Outstanding Track Official.
- 1985 – 1987 … Administrator of Officials Selection Committee for Indianapolis
Pan American Games.
- 1988 – 1992 … Vice President of Track Athletic Congress.
- 1991 … Head Manager for USA Junior National Team at the Pan American Games
@ Kingston, Jamaica.
- 1993 … Inducted into 3rd Hall of Fame … Kentucky High School Athletic
- 1994 … USATF name the Outstanding Track Official award after Charles M. Ruter.
- 1997 … Inducted into 4th Hall of Fame … Kentucky Track and Cross-Country
- 2001 … Inducted into 5th Hall of Fame … Louisville Metro Athletic Directors
- 2001 … Inducted into 6th Hall of Fame … National Federation of High
- 2001 … Inducted into 7th Hall of Fame … Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
- 2001 … USATF Robert Giegengack Award for “superior
and outstanding contributions as an official, a coach, and an administrator in the
sport and to the organization.”
- 2003 … Jesse Owens Outstanding Official Award.
- 2003 … KHSAA 50 Years State Track Meet Award.
- 2004 … USATF National Officials Committee … Historian
- 2005 … Inducted into 8th Hall of Fame … Mason Dixon Games Hall of Fame.
- 2006 … Inducted into 9th Hall of Fame … Kentucky USATF Officials Hall
- 2006 … Inducted into 10th Hall of Fame … Fern Creek High School Hall