Athletic Hall of Fame

Lloyd W. Olds

Lloyd W. Olds

Sport(s): Track

Induction Class: 1976

One of the cornerstones of the Eastern Michigan University athletic program, Dr. Lloyd W. Olds, is the man responsible for the invention of the striped referee shirt used today. Olds was a member of EMU's faculty for 42 years and was a coach, athletic director and head of intramurals. While an undergraduate student in 1914, Olds began refereeing high school basketball games. "The referee often looked very much like a player," Olds said, "so the lads often threw the ball to me or bounced it off my head. I had a knitting concern make up a special shirt for me. The shirt had broad black and white stripes. I took plenty of ribbing when I first appeared in it but the idea caught on among both basketball and football officials." That striped shirt is now a universal symbol of the authority of game officials throughout the world. Olds retired from EMU after serving the institution he loved for 42 years. He died in 1982. The Olds-Robb Student Recreation/Intramural Complex on the EMU campus is a fitting memorial to the man of stripes.

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