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John Parry, Super Bowl LIII referee, retires

NFL referee John Parry has retired. This is the second-straight year the Super Bowl referee hangs it up after the big game.



Second straight year for Super Bowl referee to retire

John Parry, a three-time Super Bowl official and referee for Super Bowl LIII, has retired. Update: Parry has joined ESPN as the Monday Night Football rules analyst.

This marks seven referee retirements in the last two seasons. Walt Coleman and Pete Morelli retired earlier this off-season. A year ago, Gene Steratore, Terry McAulay, Ed Hochuli and Jeff Triplette retired.

Parry is the second-straight Super Bowl referee to retire after calling the big game. Gene Steratore retired last year to go to work for CBS Sports.

Officiating runs in the family for Parry. His dad, Dave, worked as a NFL side judge and later was supervisor for Big Ten football officials. Parry worked in the Big Ten and joined the NFL as a side judge.

Parry worked a total of 19 years in the NFL and 12 as a referee. In his career he worked 2 Wild Card Playoffs, 7 Divisional Playoffs, 1 Conference Championship, and Super Bowls XLI, XLVI and LIII. The first Super Bowl assignment was as a side judge.

In Super Bowl XLVI, Parry and back judge Tony Steratore teamed up and made an unusual intentional grounding call. Quarterback Tom Brady was under pressure and chucked the ball deep down the field. Parry called Brady for intentional grounding in the end zone (video).

This is a very surprising retirement. Parry is only in his middle 50s, and in good shape. It is possible he’s leaving a fourth Super Bowl on the field.

We now speculate about a new white hat to replace Parry. A month ago, the NFL announced that Scott Novak and Adrian Hill as new referees to replace Morelli and Coleman.

We have no inside knowledge, but it would not surprise us if the NFL tapped Brad Rogers to succeed Parry, with Land Clark as a dark horse candidate.

John Parry retires in his prime. While we are sad to see him go, Football Zebras congratulates him on a successful career and wishes him well in the future.

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?"