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College football referee Ron Cherry retires

Ron Cherry, one of the most familiar college football referees in the last decade, has retired.



Ron Cherry, one of the most recognizable college football referees for the last decade, has retired according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Cherry suffered a head injury in the USC-Notre Dame game last season and underwent emergency neurosurgery a month later to remove a blood clot.

Famous calls

Cherry officiated football for over 25-years many in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He was referee for several high-profile games in the 21st century, including the 2009 BCS National Championship game. He first gained national attention in 2007 when he copied Ben Dreith’s famous “giving him the business” call in announcing a personal foul.

While that call may prompt smiles or eye-rolls, there is no denying that Cherry was a top-notch referee. This is evidenced by a call he made in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl between Kansas State and Oregon. Have you ever heard of a one point safety? There is such a thing and Cherry and crew nailed it.

New Role

While Cherry won’t call games on the field, he will still give to officiating. Cherry will be an adviser and assistant to Dennis Hennigan, ACC coordinator of officials. 

We are sorry that Cherry’s career ended due to a serious injury. But, we are grateful he has recovered and wish him well in the next chapter of his life.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"