The University is currently operating under normal conditions

#GDTBATH: Jay Garner

Growing up, Jay Garner always preferred to be the referee for backyard football. The Tar Heel has earned his ref stripes at Carolina as an official for Campus Recreation's intramural sports.

Press the play button to watch the video

On any given night, you can likely find Carolina sophomore Jay Garner at Hooker Fields or Fetzer Hall, where Tar Heels are competing for the always-coveted intramural sports championship T-shirts. Garner is always part of the action — even though he’s not actually playing.

He’s the one with the whistle, keeping the game on track as an intramural sports official with Campus Recreation. The part-time position is a perfect fit for the Tar Heel.

“I’ve always been interested in officiating,” he said. “We’d play football in the backyard, and I’d always want to referee.”

Since beginning his time as a Campus Rec referee, the Tar Heel has expanded his work to include officiating middle and high school football and baseball. Combined with his studies in sports administration, Garner hopes to leverage the experience for a future career.

“I do want to make a career out of it,” he said. “When I go to a UNC football game, my eyes trail toward the officials from time to time just to see what they’re doing, and I notice, ‘Hey, these guys are doing exactly what I do, and that’s going to be me someday.’ That is the best job you can have.”