Former NFL official Bill Leavy, who spent 20 years in the league as a back judge and referee, died on Tuesday, according to Football Zebras. He was 76.
During the 2014 season, Leavy retired and took a supervisory role with the NFL’s officiating department. He held that position till his death.
“Bill was one of the finest individuals in our field, liked and admired by everyone,” retired NFL umpire Bill Wilson told Football Zebras. “He’ll be much missed.”
Leavy was officiating Big West games when he was recruited to join the NFL after the Panthers and Jaguars were added as expansion teams in 1995.
He previously served as a police officer, a firefighter, and a Secret Service agent.
Leavy officiated two Super Bowls, the most recent being Super Bowl XL between the Steelers and the Seahawks. Following that, the officiating crew was chastised, and Leavy later apologized for his errors throughout the game.
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Leavy was admired by his colleagues throughout his career. After earning the Art McNally Award in 2019 for “exemplary professionalism, leadership, and commitment to sportsmanship,” referee Clete Blakeman praised his mentor, Leavy, saying, “The man is irreplaceable in the world of football refereeing.”
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.