According to a statement from the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Monday, Art McNally, the “father of instant replay” and the first game official to be inducted, passed away on Sunday at the age of 97 from natural causes in a hospital in Pennsylvania close to his home.
For nine seasons, Art McNally worked as an NFL official, first as a field judge in 1959 and then as a referee from 1960 to 1967. He was appointed the NFL’s official supervisor in 1968, and it was around this time that he developed the first professional sports officiating training and evaluation video study program.
Under his direction, the NFL’s officiating staff benefited from technology, and McNally eventually introduced instant replay to the league. In 1992, he served as the coordinator of officials for the World League of American Football after leaving the NFL in 1991.
In 1995, he returned to the NFL full-time, and from then until 2007, he served as an associate supervisor of officials. He worked with the league as an official observer for the following six years.
Art McNally was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the first time in August.
Arthur Ignatius McNally was born on July 1, 1925. He was 97 years old when he passed away on 1st January of 2023. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the city where McNally was born. Prior to graduating from Philadelphia’s Temple University, he completed his senior year at a Catholic high school.
Before being hired as the NFL’s coordinator of officials prior to the 1968 season. McNally worked as a teacher and coach at Central High School in the Philadelphia school system. He is also said to have served in the Marines during World War II.