The son of Hall of Famer Art McNally announced on Monday that his father died on Sunday at the age of 97.
McNally was an on-field official for nine seasons — he served as a referee for eight of them — before becoming the NFL’s director of officiating in 1968. He remained in the role through the 1990 season and then returned to work as an assistant supervisor of officials from 1996 to 2007. He then served as an observer until his retirement in 2015.
McNally is credited with installing the first formal program for training and evaluation of football officials in professional sports and increasing the use of technology, including replay, in NFL officiating. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year and inducted over the summer.
Our condolences go out to McNally’s family, friends, and loved ones on their loss.