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Making calls, breaking barriers

By Greg Johnson - Champion MagazineJim BurchBurch

At 87, pioneer among men’s basketball officials still has a hand in the game as conference coordinator

Whether it was men’s college basketball officiating or working in his chosen professional field of public education in North Carolina, Jim Burch has spent a lifetime being a pioneer.

In the late 1960s, he became the first black men’s basketball official in the Southern Conference and was among the first in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In his educational career, his hiring as the assistant state superintendent for administrative services in the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in 1970 made national news.

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