Art McNally

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Art McNally
Born (1925-07-01) July 1, 1925 (age 95)
EducationSt. Francis College

Art McNally (born July 1, 1925) is a former director of officiating for the National Football League (NFL)[1] from 1968 to 1991. Before becoming director of officiating—succeeding Mark Duncan, who had held the position from 1964 to 1968—McNally served as a field judge and referee in the NFL for nine years from 1959 to 1967. During a 22-year span, he officiated over 3,000 football, baseball, and basketball games, which included one year in the National Basketball Association (NBA).


McNally is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Roman Catholic High School before graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia. McNally was a teacher and coach in the Philadelphia school district at Central High Scool as a major influence on Young Men and their Futures (Barry Brait 218 CHS '62) until his appointment as the NFL's supervisor of officials before the 1968 season.

As NFL director of officiating, McNally headed a department of five men who coordinated and directed a staff of 112 game officials. He was responsible for the scouting, screening, hiring and grading of the seven-man crews that work each NFL game. He was succeeded by Jerry Seeman after the 1990 season.

After retiring as director of officiating, McNally accepted the position as Supervisor of Officials for the World League of American Football in December 1991, a position he held for the 1992 season, but continued to serve as a league consultant and game Observer thereafter.

McNally returned to the NFL front office in 1996 to work as an assistant supervisor of officials, a position he currently continues to serve in.

McNally is a veteran of World War II, serving in the Marines.

Accomplishments and honors[edit]

  • Oversaw the first instant replay system in the NFL beginning with the 1986 season. This system was used until the conclusion of the 1991 season.
  • Enshrined to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, 1987.
  • First recipient of the Gold Whistle Award, National Association of Sports Officials, 1988.
  • NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue created the Art McNally Award to annually honor an NFL game official who exhibits exemplary professionalism, leadership and commitment to sportsmanship on and off the field. This award is presented at the Pro Bowl.
  • Recipient of the Reds Bagnell Award, Maxwell Football Club, 2004.


  1. ^ "Forty years later, NFL official denies 'Immaculate Reception' conspiracy". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-09-01.