The Pro Football Hall of Fame contributor committee has selected former official Art McNally as a finalist for the Class of 2022.
“I’m kind of knocked over. It’s a shocker,” McNally told Hall of Fame president David Baker on Tuesday.
McNally now must receive 80 percent voting support from the 49-member selection committee in advance of Super Bowl LVI to be inducted next August. The committee will consider McNally, senior candidate Cliff Branch, coach Dick Vermeil and 15 modern-era finalists. The Class of 2022 will have between four and eight members.
McNally, 96, would become the first on-field official with a bronze bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He served as the director of officiating for the NFL from 1968-91 and is known as the “Father of Instant Replay.”
McNally served as an NFL official for nine years, including as a referee from 1960-67, before the league promoted him to supervisor of officials in 1968. Upon his appointment, he installed the
first formal program for training and evaluation of football officials in professional sports.
McNally eventually headed a department of five individuals who coordinated and directed a staff of 112 game officials. He was responsible for the scouting, screening, hiring and grading of the crews that worked each NFL game.
He is credited with bringing technology to NFL officiating and introducing the highest level
of training for officials. He introduced an instant replay system to the NFL in 1986. Every major pro sport now uses some form of replay in its game.