DML 2023 Jan Wolcott
Jan Wolcott
Director Pierce County Parks & Recreation
When Tom Cross retired in 1981 after 23 years as the very first Director of Parks and Recreation in Pierce County, they didn’t need much time to find his replacement. It was Jan Wolcott, who was the county’s Superintendent of Recreation. After more than 35 years as a Pierce County employee, Wolcott retired as well, in 2005.
Gone but not forgotten, a special tribute to Jan was included at a dedication of a four-mile section of the Foothill Trails in March. He had been a driving force behind that project and a teammate to Cross in the development of county parks. Jan directed the legislative process and assisted the cities and towns along the route to develop a Master Plan for the Trail’s construction. He was involved in raising the necessary money to purchase, plan and build the Trail from east Puyallup through the Town of Buckley and walkers, runners, bike riders, equestrians and the handicapped are a daily, year-round happening there. So, did Wolcott also retire from a life in sports and recreation? Hardly!
A graduate of White River High School in 1959 and St. Martin’s College in 1964, he then earned his Masters In Public Administration at Pacific Lutheran University. Wolcott’s name has been connected with the sports of basketball, football, baseball and slow pitch as a player, coach and/or official for 58 years.
He played both football and basketball in high school (captains in both), college basketball at St. Martin’s, and recreation league basketball for another 25 years while getting involved in men’s slow pitch as well. Did his playing days end then and there? Not a chance. In 1991 he began playing senior softball and he continues playing to this day. Not only that, but he has also served as coach and/or manager for most of those teams.
In 1965 he joined the Western Washington Football Association on his way to a 53-year career in officiating. He also joined the Western Washington Basketball Association that December. From 1966 to 2002 he worked high school varsity football and he did small college football from 1972 to 1995. In basketball he worked high school varsity games from 1968 to 2000 and small college from 1970-1995. He also did Pacific-10 Conference basketball games for five years. During that stretch he was selected for three state football and three state basketball tournaments and worked three state championship (King Bowl) football games as well.  And, he also was the Assigning Secretary of the Western Washington Football Officials Association for 41 years. That Association honored him in 1997 with their Meritorious Service Award.
The Doug McArthur Lifetime Achievement Award sets an example for those who convey such a true dedication to sports. It isn’t just about winning. It’s about competing to win, about bringing out the best in yourself and others. When one does that, it leaves an example for others to follow. This award recognizes all of the above …. and then some!
2023 Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients