BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — Former NFL supervisor of officials Jerry Seeman, who worked as the chief referee in two Super Bowls, has died after a long bout with cancer at age 77.
Seeman died Sunday at his home in Blaine, Minn., league spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Monday. The St. Paul Pioneer Press first reported the death of Seeman, who was an NFL game official from 1975 to 1990, including 12 seasons as a lead referee.
Seeman moved to the league office in 1991 and served 10 years as the supervisor of officials until his retirement.
“Jerry modernized and improved NFL officiating during his 10 seasons leading the department,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement distributed by the league. “He was very proud of being a football official, and he always made the NFL proud through his skill, integrity, and professionalism.”
Seeman’s son, Jeff, is a line judge who worked the Denver-New England game on Sunday night. He has been a game official in the league for 12 years.
Jerry Seeman officiated in 15 playoff games and two Pro Bowls in addition to the two Super Bowls, the last of which in 1991 was his final game on the field when the New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills in Tampa, Fla.
Seeman was credited for introducing a program for sending officiating crews to training camps to work practices and scrimmages and meet with players and coaches. That program was designed to improve communication and understanding between the two sides.
He also helped facilitate regular offseason meetings among officials and coaches, enhance the use of video technology and expand the grading system for game officials, according to the NFL.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)