Ron Botchan

Last updated
Ron Botchan
Ron Botchan 1961.jpg
No. 54, 37
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Born:(1935-02-15)February 15, 1935
Brooklyn, New York
Died:January 28, 2021(2021-01-28) (aged 85)
California
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
College: Occidental
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Ronald Leslie Botchan (born February 15, 1935 - January 28, 2021) was a retired American football official from the National Football League (NFL). Prior to that he was an American football linebacker in the American Football League from 1960 to 1962. As an official, Botchan worked as an umpire for nearly his entire NFL career and wore the number 110. Regarded as the "NFL's best umpire" by the media, Botchan was assigned to a record-number five Super Bowls: XX in 1986, XXVII in 1993, XXIX in 1995, XXXI in 1997, and XXXIV in 2000. He was also an alternate in Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, and Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. He rapidly ascended to the NFL ranks after nine years of officiating high school and college games and attributes his success to being "coachable".

Contents

High school and college years

Botchan played linebacker at Belmont High School and later at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. At Occidental, Botchan was a teammate to Jack Kemp and Jim Mora; and was a collegiate All-Conference baseball player and an All-Conference and Little All-American linebacker. [1]

Professional career

NFL player

Botchan was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1957, but went to play football in the United States Marine Corps. He was selected to the All-Marine and All-Service teams playing linebacker for the Marine Corps Base Quantico and Camp Lejune teams. In 1960, Botchan was approached by scouts of the new upstart American Football League (AFL) and signed a contract for $6,000 to play for the Los Angeles Chargers under head coach Sid Gillman as a starting linebacker. Ron signed with the Houston Oilers the next year only to have his football playing career ended due to a knee injury. He played in the first two American Football League Championship Games, losing the first with the Chargers vs. the Oilers, and winning the second when the Oilers again defeated the Chargers in the 1961 AFL Championship.

Coaching

After his playing days ended, Botchan took up coaching football. From 1966 to 1972, Ron built the Los Angeles City College team into a winning program that included several league championships.

NFL official

Botchan's officiating career began in 1972 after moving away from coaching and until 1976 was working high school and junior college football games. He was assigned two games as an umpire in the Pac-10 between 1976 and 1979 before applying and being accepted to the NFL in 1980.

In 1980, Botchan joined the NFL as a line judge because no openings were available as an umpire. As a rookie, he received a rare opportunity to officiate a playoff game due to having a successful season. Historically, rookie officials in the NFL do not participate in the playoffs. An opportunity opened up for Botchan the following year at the umpire position, which he accepted, and stayed for the remainder of his career in the league.

His last game was a National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams on January 27, 2002 and his final appearance was at Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002 as an alternate official. Botchan served as an assistant supervisor of officials for the NFL.

Notable events

  • Botchan five Super Bowls is tied with NFL officials Tom Kelleher, Jack Fette, and Al Jury.
  • Worked Super Bowl XXXIV that involved the final play in which the Tennessee Titans came up one yard short from tying the score against the St. Louis Rams. The play would become known as "The Tackle".
  • During a game in the late 1990s, Botchan was knocked to the ground and suffered a cut to his head. He continued without missing a single play of the game, but later required eight stitches.
  • Botchan once proposed a helmet designed to look like an officials' hat worn by the umpire to protect against head injuries.
  • Was a mentor to Matt Millen (former NFL player, television commentator, later General Manager of the Detroit Lions), who trained to become an official during a 2000 NFL pre-season game in Foxboro, Massachusetts to demonstrate the "Ump Cam" used by Fox Sports to television viewers. The "Ump Cam" was a small camera placed on the bill of the official's cap to bring the action closer to the television audience.
  • Botchan was the umpire during a 1988 NFL season game on December 31 between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field played under heavy fog. This game became known in NFL lore as the "Fog Bowl".
  • In 1997 he was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Super Bowl XXXIV 2000 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXIV was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Tennessee Titans to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1999 season. The Rams defeated the Titans by the score of 23–16, capturing their first Super Bowl win and first NFL championship since 1951. The game, played on January 30, 2000, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, was the fourth Super Bowl to be held a week after the conference championship games.

Super Bowl XXXV 2001 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXV was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Ravens and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2000 season. The Ravens defeated the Giants by a score of 34–7, tied for the seventh largest Super Bowl margin of victory with Super Bowl XXXVII. The game was played on January 28, 2001, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Super Bowl XXXVI 1999 edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2001 season. The Patriots defeated the Rams by the score of 20–17. It was New England's first Super Bowl championship, and the franchise's first league championship of any kind. The game was also notable for snapping the AFC East's long streak of not being able to win a Super Bowl championship, as the division's teams had lost eight Super Bowls in total. This was the last Super Bowl to feature the St. Louis Rams; after relocating to Los Angeles in 2019, the Rams returned to the NFL's championship game in Super Bowl LIII, in which they were again defeated by the Patriots.

Super Bowl XXXVII 2003 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2002 season. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders by the score of 48–21, tied with Super Bowl XXXV for the seventh largest Super Bowl margin of victory, and winning their first ever Super Bowl. The game, played on January 26, 2003, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, was the sixth Super Bowl to be held a week after the conference championship games. It was also the last Super Bowl played in January.

Super Bowl XL 2006 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XL was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Seattle Seahawks and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2005 season. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks by the score of 21–10. The game was played on February 5, 2006, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. It is currently the most recent Super Bowl broadcast on ABC, and the first where all aspects of the game itself were aired in HD.

Richard Scott Proehl is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. Proehl played 17 seasons with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts. He played in four Super Bowls and won two: Super Bowl XXXIV with the Rams and Super Bowl XLI with the Colts. He is remembered as a member of “The Greatest Show on Turf”.

The 2001 NFL season was the 82nd regular season of the National Football League (NFL). In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the NFL's week 2 games were postponed and rescheduled to the weekend of January 6 and 7, 2002. In order to retain the full playoff format, all playoff games, including Super Bowl XXXVI, were rescheduled one week later. The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, defeating the St. Louis Rams 20–17 at the Louisiana Superdome.

1979 NFL season US football sports season

The 1979 NFL season was the 60th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XIV when the Pittsburgh Steelers repeated as champions by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31–19 at the Rose Bowl. The Steelers became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice. It was also the 20th anniversary of the American Football League.

Jerry Markbreit is a former American football referee in the National Football League (NFL) for 23 seasons and became one of the most recognizable referees in the game. Markbreit officiated football games for 43 seasons. From 1965 to 1975, Markbreit officiated college football games in the Big Ten Conference. He then joined the NFL in 1976 as a line judge on the crew of Tommy Bell before being promoted to the head referee position in just his second year. His uniform number in the league was 9, which is now worn by Mark Perlman. In his 23 seasons in the NFL, Markbreit had 25 postseason assignments: two wild card games, 10 divisional games, eight conference championships, one Pro Bowl (1978), and four Super Bowls: Super Bowl XVII, Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXVI, and Super Bowl XXIX and was an alternate in Super Bowl XIX, Super Bowl XXII, and Super Bowl XXVIII. To date, he is the only NFL head referee to officiate four Super Bowl games.

Jim Tunney is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1960 to 1990. In his 31 years as an NFL official, Tunney received a record 29 post-season assignments, including ten Championship games and Super Bowls VI, XI, and XII and named as an alternate in Super Bowl XVIII. He is still the only referee who has worked consecutive Super Bowls, and likely will be the only one to do so.

Tony Corrente American football official

Anthony Joseph Corrente is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1995 NFL season. He wears uniform number 99. He was the referee of Super Bowl XLI. He served as the Coordinator of Football Officiating for the Pac-12 Conference from June 2011 until he resigned this position in October 2014.

Terry McAulay American football official

Terry McAulay is a former American football official who worked in the National Football League (NFL) for the 1998 through 2017 seasons. He was the referee for seven conference championship games and three Super Bowls. He was the Coordinator of Football Officials for college football's Big East and subsequently the American Athletic Conference from 2008 to 2017.

Robert T. "Bob" McElwee is a former American football official, who served for 42 years, with 27 of those years in the National Football League (NFL) from 1976 to 2003. In the NFL, he wore the uniform number 95 for most of his career.

Walt Anderson (American football) American football referee

Walter John Anderson is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1996 NFL season to the 2019 NFL season. He wore uniform number 66. Anderson spent his first seven seasons in the NFL as a line judge before being promoted to referee for the start of the 2003 NFL season after Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee announced their retirements. He is notable for officiating Super Bowl XXXV. Anderson was also named as referee for Super Bowl XLV which was played on February 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium.

Scott Green (American football official) American football official

Scott H. Green is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1991 NFL season until the 2013 NFL season. He had officiated Super Bowls XXXVI in 2002, XXXVIII in 2004, and was the referee for XLIV in 2010. Green was also the head of the NFL Referees Association and led negotiations during the 2012 NFL referee lockout.

Mark Hittner is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the beginning of the 1997 NFL season. He works as a head linesman and wears the uniform number 28. He is most notable for officiating in three Super Bowls, most recently in Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006 between the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Louis Joseph Palazzi was an American football player who later officiated from 1952 through 1981 as an umpire in the National Football League (NFL). Palazzi was the umpire in three Super Bowls, IV, VII and XI; worked nine NFL championship games, including 1958 championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants; and was assigned to work in the postseason in his final 25 seasons in the league.

George Young (American football) American football player

George Donald Young was an American football defensive end who played eight seasons in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and in the National Football League with the Cleveland Browns. He later was an umpire officiating in the American Football League (AFL) for its entire existence, from 1960 through 1969. He officiated in the first AFL championship in 1960 and the first Super Bowl after the 1966 season.

Terry Deleon Killens is a former professional American football player who played linebacker for seven seasons for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Seattle Seahawks. In 1999, the Titans made it to Super Bowl XXXIV in which Killens appeared as a substitute, however they lost to the Kurt Warner-led St. Louis Rams.

References