Updated at 11:59 a.m. to include service information.
Scott Raftery, the Southern Section assistant commissioner who oversaw volleyball, boys' soccer and softball, died Saturday. He was 55.
Raftery was at home in Arcadia surrounded by family and friends when he died at 4:23 a.m., after a brief battle against cancer.
“Scott was a man who truly dedicated his life to caring for others and giving his best efforts to help students, coaches, administrators, parents, officials and media members, virtually everyone he came in contact with,” said Rob Wigod, the section commissioner. “A trusted and loyal friend and valued colleague, Scott had such a positive outlook on life, which made those around him feel better every day. His CIF family shares this loss with Shayne, Justin, Elane (Scott’s Mom) and the entire Raftery family.”
In the sports he oversaw, Raftery would be among those handing out trophies and patches to participants at the section finals.
Raftery took on his role at the Southern Section office in Los Alamitos on July 9, 2007. In addition to oversight of volleyball, boys' soccer and softball, he also was responsible for processing hardships that came through the office.
His integrity and attention to detail won him the respect of the membership he worked for, and his infectious smile and big heart earned him additional admiration.
“Scott had a rare and precious gift that allowed him to be able to always see the good qualities in other people, which served him well throughout his career,” Wigod said. “His presence in our office and his belief in what we do and who we do it for earned him tremendous credibility and respect among our staff and our member schools.”
A celebration of his life takes place March 2, at 11 a.m., at Sunridge Community Church at 42299 Winchester Road in Temecula. Attendees are encouraged to wear something that reminds them of Raftery (i.e., Disney, Linfield, athletics, etc.) In lieu of sending flowers, the family has requested a donation to the Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center.
Raftery himself was an outstanding athlete and coach before joining the Southern Section office.
Raftery also coached football and baseball at Temecula Linfield Christian, but he was the head softball coach at the school for 14 years where his teams claimed four section titles and three runner-up plaques. He was also named CIF-SS Coach of the Year four times, and in 2001 he and his assistant coaches were named Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Raftery was born on June 27, 1957 and went on to graduate in 1975 from Arcadia High School. His senior year, Raftery was named Arcadia High's Athlete of the Year for his outstanding prowess in baseball.
He eventually accepted a baseball scholarship from Azusa Pacific University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 1979. He also earned a Masters Degree in Education from Azusa Pacific in 1988.
Raftery worked in various capacities for several schools following his graduation, but settled into Linfield Christian School in 1991 where he would spend the next 16 years.
During his tenure at Linfield where he served as athletic director, Raftery provided leadership as a League Representative and Coordinator; President and Board Member of the Citrus Belt Athletic Directors Association; member of the CIF Southern Section Officials Fees Committee and Playoff Groupings Committee; Chairman of the Small Schools Area Releaguing Committee and member of the CIF-SS Softball Advisory Committee.
In 2004-05 he was named the Southern Section's Athletic Director of the Year by the California State Athletic Director Association. He was enshrined into the Citrus Belt Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame in 2010.