For more than 30 years Ray Wolfe was a fixture in the Long Island soccer community and regarded as a top referee having worked games from the youth level to international matches.
On Tuesday, July 11, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association announced the passing of Wolfe, a longtime resident of Franklin Square. At the time of his passing, Wolfe was surrounded by his wife, Hilda, the couple’s sons and family members.
Wolfe began his career as a game official in 1985 after he and his family moved to Long Island. He quickly worked his way up the ranks in the Long Island Junior Soccer League and officiated matches at several levels ranging from youth and amateur games to professional and international matches.
In 1993, Wolfe was a referee at the World University Games in Niagara Falls and worked a semi-final game and a finals match. Two years later, he was an assistant referee for the United Soccer League championship game that was televised nationally.
Wolfe also officiated matches at the high school and college levels. In 2000, he was named Official of the Year in the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA).
In addition to his on-field work, Wolfe also volunteered as a trustee for the New York Soccer Referee Association. In 2009, he received a promotion to State Youth Referee Administrator (SYRA) and canvassed the Empire State in an effort to develop Eastern New York’s youth referees until his retirement in June of 2017.