Willis began umpiring in 1982 and has created a resume that reads like a who’s who of umpiring. During his stay behind the plate, Willis has umpired in 75 World Series events and has done 45 Championship contests.
In March of 2008, he was named United States Specialty Sports Fast Pitch Umpire of the Year. He also was named Assistant Illinois State Fast Pitch Umpire in Chief in 2010 to present.
In providing insight into Willis’s contributions to the Illinois USSSA, Brenda Paulson said, “Willis has been instrumental in the development of the Illinois USSSA Fast Pitch program and his umpires. Due to his efforts, we have been able to host much larger state and World Series events.”
In addition to Willis’s umpiring efforts, he has volunteered at the March of Dimes Snowball Tournament for the past ten years, while teaching 8- to 14-year-old players the fundamentals of the fast-pitch game. Presently he is also putting together summer camps for elementary students by teaching them the game of softball, while continuing youth instruction at summer leagues.
His abilities of passing on the knowledge of umpiring and the softball game to others has allowed Willis to become one of Illinois’ newest USSSA Hall of Fame members.