Derek Brookshire

Derek Brookshire Named 2021 Recipient of Art Demmas Outstanding Officials Award

If coaches and players feel like their games are officiated with the stern, no-nonsense demeanor of a drill sergeant when Derek Brookshire is calling their game, it’s because it is! Brookshire is this year’s honoree as the “Art Demmas Outstanding Official Award” and prior to retiring from the Army, he spent the final 12 years of his 29-year career as the instructor at the Army’s Drill Instructor school. Brookshire first became an official in 1995 for the Army’s intramural games at Fort Knox. In 2000, he joined the TSSAA calling football, basketball and baseball games and remains active today.


Brookshire likens his role as an official to that of serving in the military following his retirement from the Army in 2013. “They are similar in the great camaraderie with both,” said Brookshire. “You are there with friends and brothers and you can’t put a price on that. I really enjoy doing it.”


Brookshire’s prowess as an official earned him assignments in the 2018 Blue Cross Bowl games and TSSAA state baseball tournaments in both 2018 and 2020. “I’m always recruiting officials, even during games that I’m working,” Brookshire stated. “If they don’t make it as a player to the next level, they can stay involved in the game and that’s why I’m recruiting for both the TSSAA and the many youth programs in several sports!”


His recruiting efforts include working with “Battlefields2Ballfields,” a national organization which recruits veterans to the officiating world. (Please visit Brookshire has served as an assigner for multiple youth leagues in three sports, always willing to give his all so that today’s youth can continue to enjoy the sports they love.


This award honors the late Art Demmas, a co-founder of this NFF chapter in 1961 where he remained an active board member until his passing in 2016. Following his collegiate football career at Vanderbilt, Demmas embarked on a long officiating career. He started out in 1958 calling high school games and then moved to the SEC, where he officiated for eight seasons before moving to the NFL. From 1970 until he retired from the NFL in 2006, Demmas was assigned to four Super Bowls and numerous playoff games. By the end of his career, he was one of the most decorated officials in NFL history.