Soccer has been a central part of John O’Keefe’s life since the mid 1970s when he played for the Tacoma Wanderers youth club team, and it has remained that way in his role as a soccer official at every level. As a player, John had the distinction of competing for the Tacoma Kickers youth team that won a regional tournament in Las Vegas and placed third in the U.S. championships and fifth in the North American championships in 1976-77. During those same years (1976-79) he earned all-league honors at Bellarmine Prep before heading to California for a year as a member of the Fresno Pacific College program. While in Fresno he coached girls soccer at Clovis Junior High School. After leaving Fresno, John played at then-Fort Steilacoom Community College (now Pierce College) before finishing his collegiate career at the University of Portland. While in Portland he was the Benson Tech boys freshman soccer head coach from 1981-82. His officiating career started in earnest in 1979, the same year he graduated from high school, and since then he has handled approximately 3,000 Washington Youth Soccer matches and another 1,000 or so Washington high school contests, including approximately 20 Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) playoff games. John also officiated at the highest level of men’s and women’s state competition from 1986-96 in addition to serving as a college soccer official from 1983-96. In nearly four full decades John has accumulated a lengthy highlight list from youth levels all the way to serving as referee for a Seattle Sounders versus Canadian Olympic team match in 1996. He was referee for the first community college women’s soccer final in the state of Washington and was in the middle for the first-ever University of Washington men’s soccer NCAA playoff match. In addition to his on-field work, John served as Pierce County Soccer Referee Association as president.