Happy 70th birthday to retired NFL field judge and referee Pete Morelli. The 22-year official was born November 18, 1951.
Morelli worked 16 postseason games, which included 7 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XXXVI, as the field judge on referee Bernie Kukar’s crew.
In only his fifth year in the league, Morelli was assigned to the Super Bowl in his first year of eligiblity, and he had the honor of signaling the winning field goal as time expired (video). His last game was the 2019 Pro Bowl, where he split the duties of the white hat with Walt Coleman.
Off the field, Morelli resides in Stockton, Calif., and worked as a teacher and administrator at Saint Mary’s High School in Stockton for 33 years, before retiring as president of the school in 2017. He was the principal of the school from 1989 until 2014, and even shared a touching moment with one of his former students, then-Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, on the field in the 2014 season in Tampa Bay. Morelli also served as a full-time official during the short-lived full-time officials program in 2017 and 2018.
Morelli was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Art McNally Award, named after the Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee and all-around officiating legend, which recognized an official for “exemplary professionalism, leadership, and commitment to sportsmanship on and off the field.” He was the first active on-field official to be awarded the honor since 2009, and no active official has won the award since Morelli did.
We congratulate Morelli on his milestone birthday and wish him the well on his special day.