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Alvin "Alvie" Gebhardt

"Alvie" Gebhardt was one of the busiest and most popular local officials. He whistled his first high school game foul in 1939, and was still doing it 27 years later. He started "calling 'em right" in the old YMCA and Caterpillar leagues in '37. It was said, "if you can survive the games in those leagues, you're ready to move on." And that he did.

Gebhardt was assigned many regionals and sectionals, 15 super sectionals, and four state finals. He was the first local official to work in the NCAA Tournament, handling the quarter-finals in 1966 at Portland, Ore.

He worked 10 years in the National Industrial Basketball League that included the Caterpillar Olympic Champions in 1952, and he handled seven NAIA playoffs. Unable to accept an offer to do Big 10 games because of T P & W employer duties, Alvie accepted a Missouri Conference schedule, working in that league for 11 years, frequently being assigned the "big game" involving top-ranked teams like Wichita, Louisville, Tulsa, and Cincinnati.

Gebhardt officiated the game between number one ranked Cincinnati and number three ranked Illinois in Chicago attended by 22,000 fans, the largest crowd to attend a game up to that time.

Alvie stopped officiating in 1966 after pulling an Achilles tendon. He continues to live in Peoria with wife Fran, spending the winter months in Englewood, Florida.