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Beryl Napoleon

Contest Official
Inducted 2005

With 37 years as a basketball official and 29 years as a softball official, Beryl Napoleon is one of the most active contest officials in the state.

Napoleon, a Jacksonville native, attended Douglas Anderson High School but enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17. He completed four years of service and returned to finish his education, graduating in 1960. Napoleon then attended Edward Waters College in Jacksonville and pursued a degree in broadcasting.

Napoleon joined the Southern Association of Basketball Officials in 1968, becoming its first African-American member. He was also the first African-American to represent SABO in the FHSAA state playoffs. Napoleon has officiated 26 state championship basketball contests, 16 boys and 10 girls, more than any other active FHSAA contest official. His softball officiating career since 1976 has encompassed both the Jacksonville Umpires Association and the River City Umpires Association.

Napoleon serves as a basketball evaluator for SABO and on the state level for the FHSAA. He is also one of four members elected to represent basketball on the FHSAA’s 28-member Officials Advisory Committee. Napoleon is a Rank One Official and has received a meritorious achievement award in both basketball and softball.

An active member of his community, Napoleon is a member of the Greater Grant Memorial AME Church and has served on the Usher Board. He also volunteers with the church’s Boys Scout troop. Napoleon has been known to help the neighborhood children fix their bikes and even takes them to school if they miss the bus. He retired after a 31-year career as a carrier with the United States Postal Service, where he earned the nickname “The Pillar” for his strength of character and dedication to the community.

Napoleon and his late wife, Eartha, have three children and four grandchildren. They reside in Jacksonville.