Jerry Seeman, a former National Football League referee and the league’s Director of Officiating from 1991-2000, passed away on Nov. 24, 2013 after a three-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. He was 77.
The NFL honored Seeman after his passing as all officials wore a patch in honor of his contributions and life-long commitment to football. The hat worn by Seeman’s son, Jeff Seeman, who is a NFL line judge, is now part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s permanent collection.
Seeman began officiating in the NFL in 1975 as a line judge and head linesman. He was promoted to the referee position in 1979. He officiated 15 postseason games including Super Bowls XXIII and XXV during his career as an on-field official. As Director of Officiating, he is credited with implementing the modern-day instant replay system and specialized officials training programs.
“Jerry modernized and improved NFL officiating during his 10 seasons leading the department,” commented NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about Seeman. “He was very proud of being a football official, and he always made the NFL proud through his skill, integrity, and professionalism.”
Seeman’s influence can still be seen on NFL fields today as 51 active officials in 2013 were hired during his tenure.
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