Ben Dreith, the NFL referee known for a no-nonsense demeanor and his idiosyncratic penalty announcements that made him the first household name in NFL officiating, died at his home at the age of 96. He was the oldest living NFL official at the time of his death on April 25,
Don Hakes, a NFL official for 22 years and a three-time Super Bowl field judge and back judge passed away on April 1, 2021 at the age of 87.
2021 has gotten off to a rough start as retired NFL officials Ron Botchan, Bob Boylston and Fred Wyant passed away in
Fred Wyant, an all-American quarterback for the West Virginia University Mountaineers, and a NFL official from 1966 to 1992, died on March 20, at the age of 86.
In his 27-year career, Wyant worked five playoff games on the field, four at referee: four divisionals and one wild card round. He
Jim Blackwood, a longtime college coordinator of officials and one of the innovators of the use of replay in college football, has died at the age of 81 after a brief illness.
A giant in the officiating world and a mentor to many officials, Blackwood was most recently the national replay
Robert W. Boylston, 1939-2021
Former NFL umpire Bob Boylston, known for his dry wit delivered in a thick Southern drawl as much as being one of the top umpires in the league, died Thursday at the age of 81. It is the second loss of a highly recognized NFL official at
Ron Botchan, 1935-2021
Ron Botchan, former American Football League player, college football coach, and NFL official passed away this week in California at the age of 85, the NFL Referees' Association announced.
Botchan was an umpire for all but one of his 22 NFL seasons from 1980 to 2001. To say he
David R. Hawk, 1934 - 2020
Former NFL line judge, head linesman and side judge David Hawk passed away in May. Hawk was a NFL official from 1972-1989, and wore number 66 for most of his career.
A native of Texas, Hawk went to Southern Methodist University and was captain of the
William "Bill" Swanson, 1925 - 2020
Former NFL line judge, umpire and back judge Bill Swanson died on August 20, 2020, at the age of 94.
Swanson wore number 38 for most of his NFL career.
Swanson worked in the NFL from 1965 to 1985. He worked on the field for 13 playoff
Edwin J. "Ed" Merrifield, 1932 - 2020
Ed Merrifield, a Super Bowl and conference championship official, passed away this past February 16.
A Missouri native, Merrifield worked in the NFL from 1975 to 1994 on crews lead by Tommy Bell, Jerry Markbreit, Bob McElwee, Gene Barth, Jim Tunney, Howard Roe, and Ron
Nathan L. Jones, 1938-2019
Nate Jones, a NFL deep wing official from 1977 to 1998 passed away on Nov. 1 at the age of 81. He is is not related to the former NFL player and current official Nate Jones.
Jones broke into the NFL in 1977 as a line judge on