ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst presented linesman Scott Senger with the 2014-15 Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award prior to Saturday night’s ECHL game in Greenville.
The award honors an On-Ice Official for his contributions and dedication to the league officiating staff and is determined in voting of ECHL On-Ice Officials. It is named in honor of ECHL linesman Ryan Birmingham who tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in May 2007.
Senger began his officiating career in North Dakota during the 1988-89 season at the age of 17. In addition to his time officiating in the ECHL, Senger has worked professional games in the Southern Professional Hockey League, collegiate games in the Amateur Collegiate Hockey Association, and USA Hockey Regional and National tournaments.
Senger, a North Dakota native, currently resides in Greer, S.C. with his wife Stephanie. When not on the ice, Senger works as a strength and conditioning coach for the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C.
The 2007-08 edition of the ECHL Rule Book was dedicated to the memory of Birmingham, who was featured on the back cover, and ECHL on-ice officials wore a commemorative patch on their left shoulder that has 60, which is the number that Birmingham wore, and the initials RJB.
Birmingham began his officiating career when he was 12 years old in the Southgate Minor Hockey Association and worked his way into the USA Hockey Junior Officiating Development Program in 2003. Birmingham was hired as a full-time linesman by the ECHL in 2006 and worked 83 games in the regular season and four games in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, including his final game, Florida at Charlotte, on April 17, 2007.
There are 28 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2015-16 with referees Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award Winners