Bernie Ulman was one of the most well-known officials in the sport. He officiated for more than 20 years and also served in several leadership positions in the officiating ranks. Ulman was a midfielder at the University of Maryland from 1938 to 1943, where he also played football and basketball.
After serving as an officer in World War II, he resumed his love for sports by officiating football and lacrosse. In lacrosse, he officiated in just about every major game, and along with Frenchy Julien, he rewrote the rulebook and the officials' mechanics manual several times. As chief referee he brought many new ideas into lacrosse officiating.
Traveling with the NFL allowed him to also conduct clinics and spread the game throughout the USA. His teaching ability, integrity, and love of the game helped lacrosse advance to the strong position that it enjoys today.
Ulman served as an NFL official for 15 years, officiating in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IX. He passed away in 1986.
The Bernie Ulman Award was created in his honor in 1994 to recognize an individual who has contributed to the continued success of intercollegiate lacrosse officiating and, when applicable, has made a meaningful contribution to the game of lacrosse.