Jerry Seeman was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1975 to 1990 and was the NFL's Senior Director of Officiating from 1991 to 2001, succeeding Art McNally. In his 16 seasons in the NFL, Seeman was selected to officiate in 15 playoff games including two Pro Bowls, and two Super Bowls: XXIII in 1989 and XXV in 1991, and was an alternate referee for Super Bowl XIV in 1980. He wore uniform number 70 for the majority of his career (wearing number 17 during the 1979-81 seasons when officials were numbered by position).


Seeman attended Plainview High School in Plainview, Minnesota where he was a stand out athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. Later, while attending Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, he played quarterback for three years and played basketball for two years before graduating in 1957 with a degree in mathematics.

From 1963 to 1972, Seeman officiating high school football and basketball games in Minnesota for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and Wisconsin for the Wisconsin State University College Conference. In 1972, Seeman accepted a position as referee in the Big Ten Conference where he would stay until being hired by the NFL in 1975.

In his first year in the NFL, Seeman worked as a line judge before moving to head linesman and eventually referee, a position he held until the conclusion of the 1990 NFL season.

His retirement from officiating in 1991 after serving as referee in Super Bowl XXV was prompted by being appointed to the Senior Director of Officating by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, replacing Art McNally who spent 31 seasons as an NFL official and in the front office.

On June 30, 2001, Seeman retired as Senior Director of Officiating and was succeeded by Mike Pereira.

Seeman still is employed by the NFL as an observer for Sunday games, meets with owners, and visits the training camps in NFL Europe.

Seeman is married to Marilyn and have three sons, Michael, Jon, and Jeff. Jeff is currently an official in the NFL.


  • As the Senior Director of Officiating, Seeman was credited for simplifying the rules of the game, making it easier for game officials to make calls. He also developed and implemented the current instant replay system in place.
  • Training and grading system of officials was modernized by Seeman and the level of communication increased between his office and NFL teams.


Seeman has received these officiating honors during his career:


  • "Your calls had better be Super Bowl calls.... We don't want to determine the outcome of games unless it's the most blatant thing you've seen."
Preceded by
Art McNally
as Director of Officiating
Senior Director of Officiating
Succeeded by
Mike Pereira
as Vice President of Officiating

External linksEdit

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