Meet Our Team
What We Believe
Dan & Alicia DiFolco // Co-Founders
Dan and Alicia founded SOS in April of 2018 out of a heart for in-game sport officials and to help increase community among all believers in Christ across all sports and at every level.
Dan and Alicia married in 2015 and make their home in Ellensburg, WA where Dan graduated and Alicia currently attends Central Washington University.
Dan is a native of Littleton, Colorado who played collegiate baseball and studied political science. He is an active official, working as a basketball referee at the small college level and is actively cultivating relationships and partnerships within the officiating community.
Dan serves closely with the operations team at S.O.S and is in steady communication with S.O.S advisors. He worked hand in hand with S.O.S advisors Pat Fraher and Darron George to host the inaugural Referees Embracing Faith (REF) Conference in 2018.
Alicia is native of Olympia, WA and is a registered dietitian currently working in a long-term care facility. She is also currently a graduate teaching assistant while pursuing her master’s degree in Nutrition at Central Washington University.
Upon graduating high school, Alicia was involved with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), completing her YWAM Discipleship Training School in Colorado Springs, CO.
Alicia contributes to S.O.S website and graphic design.
“There are many great ministries for players and coaches focused on using their roles in sport to glorify our Heavenly Father; however just like them, referees and umpires were created with a unique passion for the same reason: to Glorify God.
It is our mission to unite the body of Christ who call themselves referees, umpires, judges or what have you for not only fellowship but as a foundation of faith support within our profession.”-Dan DiFolco
“While, I myself, am not a Sport Official, I am very aware of the lifestyle and challenges that come with this occupation, for both spouses involved. I have seen the absence of Christ in sports of all levels and I believe with all my heart that officials of faith can have a massive impact in the world of sports.”- Alicia DiFolco
Nick Donaldson // Operations Assistant
Nick Donaldson is a native of Clatskanie, Oregon where he played football and baseball at Clatskanie High School. He is currently attending Central Washington University, working towards a degree in business management.
Nick has previously served in children’s ministry at his local churches in Ellensburg, WA and Scottsdale, AZ.
Nick contributes to the S.O.S social media team and collaborates with the rest of the team on various initiatives.
“I believe in the SOS vision because I see a tangible need and appetite for faith in the officiating community. It is my hope that SOS can encourage and help members of the officiating profession at any level of any sport, to come together to share their faith walks.”
Jonathan Hodgson // Communications Director
A native of Okotoks, Alberta, Canada now living in Victoria, B.C., Jonathan brings an extensive background in sports communications.
Jonathan has experience in communications and broadcasting with the Okotoks Dawgs and Victoria HarbourCats baseball clubs, and is a feature writer for various outlets including Sports Spectrum and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has also completed written assignments for the Toronto Blue Jays and has been published nationally in Canada by Sportsnet.ca.
Jonathan leads S.O.S communications including writing news releases and feature articles published on the S.O.S website, including the ‘Surrender Stories’ series, as well as other website content, while contributing to the social media team.
“A successful day’s work for an official usually means staying out of the public eye as much as possible. However, at S.O.S, we believe that outside of the game, officials have an equal role to play in God’s family. We want to bring the officiating community together and strengthen their voice and confidence to serve the Lord where they have been placed.“
Pat Fraher // Advisor
Pat Fraher is a veteran of 18 seasons as a National Basketball Association (NBA) referee, who has worked more than 1,000 regular season games and 42 playoff games to date, including multiple conference finals assignments. He also worked the 2015 NBA All Star Game at Madison Square Garden in New York.
A native of Hastings, Minnesota, Fraher began officiating basketball at 17-years of age. He graduated from the University of Minnesota where he was a recipient of the Evans Scholarship, a tuition and housing scholarship awarded to golf caddies, and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Fraher worked as a referee in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for seven seasons, and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) for four years before being hired by the NBA prior to the 2001-02 season.
In 2011, Fraher and fellow SOS advisor Darron George co-founded Elevate Officiating, which provides supplemental training to basketball referees.
Pat is an advisor for the SOS team, and spoke at the inaugural Refs Embracing Faith “REF” Conference in August 2018. His message from the 2018 REF Conference can be viewed HERE
Read Pat’s Surrender Story HERE
“It’s clear that we are all different parts of the one body of Christ and it
just so happened I was assigned to the officiating part. I believe we areall called to do our role within the circles of influence that we havebeen given.”
Darron George // Advisor
Darron George began his officiating career in 1993 as a high school basketball referee, and in 2000, worked his first NCAA Div. 1 basketball game. Since then, Darron has been assigned to work in eight NCAA Tournaments, twice advancing to the regional rounds.
In 2011, George and fellow S.O.S advisor Pat Fraher co-founded Elevate Officiating Camp to provide supplemental training to basketball officials. George and Fraher were two of the primary visionaries a behind the establishment of the REF Conference and George served as emcee for the inaugural REF Conference that took place in August of 2018 in Allen, TX.
George grew up in Southern California and now lives in Allen, Texas. Darron and his wife of 25 years, Monica, have five grown children.
Read Darron's Surrender Story HERE
“To whom much is given, much is required. Our responsibility in faith is to let that faith be known. REF Conference gives us a chance to look fellow officials in the eye and encourage other men and women of faith in this vocation because it is difficult. You have to stay prayed up, talked up, and you have to stay engaged in your faith during the season, and that is hard to do.”
Ted Barrett // Advisor
2018 was Ted’s 20th season as a Major League Baseball umpire. Since joining the major league umpiring staff in 1999, he has worked four American League Wild Card Games, eight Division Series, eight League Championships and four World Series.
Additionally, Ted has been appointed crew chief for multiple postseason series, including the 2013 and 2018 World Series.
Ted has been a part of history, working home plate in the longest World Series game on record (2018, Game 3), is the only umpire to ever work the plate for multiple perfect games (David Cone, 1999; Matt Cain, 2012), and is tied for the most no-hitters worked as a home plate umpire, with three.
Even with his career accomplishments, the priority that is most dear to Ted is his faith and encouraging his fellow umpires and officials to grow in their relationships with Christ.
Ted earned his degree in theological studies from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburg, IN and in 2004, with fellow MLB umpire Rob Drake, co-founded Calling For Christ, a faith-based fellowship of major and minor league baseball umpires. Ted also serves with Umps Care Charities; the charitable arm of the MLB Umpires Association.
Ted was born in North Tonawanda, NY and moved to California at age 16 where he was a multi-sport athlete at Cal State- Hayward. Ted’s son Adam currently works as an umpire in the double-A Texas League.
Ted and his wife Tina have been married for 30 years, and currently reside in Gilbert, AZ.
Read Ted's Surrender Story HERE
“The enemy wants you isolated. It’s imperative to stay in contact with colleagues and crew members, to keep pressing in to God’s Word and living it out together.”
Josh Koch // Advisor - Worship Leader
A native of Vassar, MI, Joshua now makes him home in Plainfield, IN. He is engaged to Hannah Evans and has two sons, Jack & Carter.
A graduate of Olivet Nazarene University, Joshua has been a basketball official since 2012, working at the high school, NCAA/NAIA, and professional levels and is a worship leader who has written and played music all over the world.
Outside of officiating and leading worship, Joshua enjoys spending time with Hannah and their four dogs (Eggsy, Bella, Dobby & Piper) his two sons, golfing and writing. He was also instrumental in planting Second Chance Church in the Indianpolis area.
Joshua brings a valuable quality to the S.O.S team, with his combination of experience in officiating and in ministry. Joshua has been the main worship leader in every REF Conference event since its inception in August of 2018.
"Camaraderie is a huge piece of why I officiate. The majority of the relationships with other officials I form center around life, not basketball. I believe in S.O.S. because it creates a medium for officials to grow together inside and outside of basketball."
Alika Arisumi // Advisor - Content Creator
In April of 2019, God had begun orchestrating some amazing events that had opened the door for Alika to join the S.O.S team. From a small town in Alamogordo, NM, Alika first learned about S.O.S through his membership with Court Club Elite. It was then that God began stirring his heart for the mission of Sport Officials Surrendered.
Alika was the opening speaker for REF Con 2019 and has since become the content creator for most of S.O.S's graphic content.
A graduate from Grand Canyon University with a B.A. in Christian Studies, Alika has served as a youth & young adult pastor as well as an associate pastor for over 10 years.
He has been trying to plant a church in Southern New Mexico, and still actively officiates both volleyball and basketball at the high school and college levels.
When I learned that a ministry like this existed, I knew right away that I needed to be involved. I had been ministering to fellow officials in my region for nearly 2 years and wanted to start a ministry for sports officials. So when I heard about S.O.S. it was a no brainer to get involved and help out however God would allow. I share the same heart with Dan in serving and reaching our fellow sport officials with the gospel!
Nate & Jessica Harris // Advisors
Nate and Jessica Harris live in Spokane, WA, and have been with S.O.S. since 2019. They joined as advisors after Nate spoke at Referees Embracing Faith Conference in Ohio.
Nate is a basketball referee with more than ten years experience at the NCAA Div. 1 level, officiating in six conferences and has been assigned to three NCAA tournaments. He is a co-founder and camp director at Harris-Shamion Officiating.
Nate and Jessica co-host regular prayer calls for S.O.S. and the officiating community, in addition to serving on the REF Conference planning committee, and contributing to S.O.S. online content.