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Savo, Larry




Larry Savo was a sophomore in high school when his basketball coach sent players to go officiate basketball at the elementary school level to give the athletes an idea how hard it was to make the correct calls.

“Coach felt this would help us appreciate the time and effort the officials were giving us during our game and not complain about the call,” Savo said. “He was right. It was hard to make a split decision and make the call. ... I umpired baseball, softball and volleyball, as well, but basketball spoke to me.”

That experience served as the foundation for Savo’s 42-year career as a basketball official. He has refereed at the high school level, beginning with the Fairfield Board, graduating to officiate at the Division I, II and III levels collegiately, as well as in the American Basketball League, a women’s professional league, in 1998-99.

At the Division I level, Savo reffed games, including postseason tournaments, in the Big East Conference, Patriot League, Ivy League, America East, the Mid-Continent Conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and the Atlantic 10. He officiated five consecutive NCAA Division II tournaments, including a regional semifinal.

Savo will surround himself with two of his mentors today as he is inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, fellow officials Tony Candido and his brother Andy Savo, whom he calls “two of the most highly respected officials in the Northeast Region.” “I was fortunate enough to have these two officials mentor me, which helped me advance in my career,” he said. “They are responsible for helping other young officials on their career path, as well.”

Savo, who was an all-conference selection in football and baseball at Yankton College in South Dakota, setting the school record with 13 interceptions his junior year from his position at cornerback, signed briefly with the Denver Broncos of the NFL in 1981.

A resident of Hudson, Florida, Savo is retired from his 36-and-half-year career as a teacher and athletic director, serving for 18 years as a special education teacher and 18-and-a-half in physical education. Savo taught at his alma mater, Masuk High School in Monroe, Bullard Havens in Bridgeport (where he coached football, baseball and girls’ basketball) and in Stamford, where he finished the final three years of his career as the athletic director at Westhill High School. He was inducted into the Yankton College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2022.

In addition to his brother Andy, Savo would like to thank his brothers Frank and Dean, his mother and father — his dad set up his first hoop when he was 3 years old and taught him and his brothers how to shoot and dribble — and his late wife Margitta.

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