Some might believe the phrase “there is a first time for everything” is a cliché. Margaret Busbee is a pioneer who broke new ground for many to follow in her footsteps and is the physical embodiment of that saying.
She was the first female member, officer and president of the Southern Association of Basketball Officials. Busbee was the first female to be selected as an FHSAA state evaluator in the sport of basketball and was also the first female official to cross over from girls to boys basketball. In 1993 the St. Petersburg Times stated she was one of the best referees in the state. The Times quoted her saying, “I’d really like to do it. That would be the hat trick for me” when talking about officiating a boys state championship. She earned that hat trick in 2002, when she became the first female official to officiate a boys state championship game.
In 1994, Busbee won State Official of the Year for girls basketball, and in 2000, earned the same recognition for girls volleyball. Entering the 2011-12 school year, she had worked 30 state Final Four basketball contests and 25 state Final Four volleyball games across all classifications.
Staying in the forefront, Busbee remains an active member of the Southern Association of Basketball Officials and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity for various “Women Build” projects.