INDIANAPOLIS — David Parry, who was the head of football officiating in the Big Ten for 19 years and the NCAA’s first national coordinator of officials, died Monday from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 76.
Parry was an on-field college football official for 20 years and worked in the NFL from 1975-1990.
He was assigned to 14 NFL playoff games, including four conference championship games, and was the side judge for the 1983 Super Bowl.
He became coordinator of football officials for the Big Ten in 1990 and helped the league become the first in college football to use instant replay.
“Dave was a leader in the game of football and had the unique ability and temperament to move seamlessly between officials and coaches both at the professional and collegiate levels, earning the respect of all,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “Dave was an educator at his core, and we will miss him terribly.”
He left the Big Ten to become the first national coordinator of officials in 2008. He resigned that position in February.
“Dave’s many contributions to college football and specifically officiating were significant,” Dennis Poppe, NCAA vice president of Division I football and baseball, said. “The sport of college football has lost a great man.”
Earlier in his career, Parry also officiated college basketball games in the Big Ten and Mid-American Conferences.
He graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., in 1957 and is a member of the school’s athletics hall of fame.
He lived in Michigan City, Ind., with his wife, Pat.
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