Sun's out, guns out, Hochuli's out: NFL announces veteran referee retiring

Shalise Manza Young
·Yahoo Sports Columnist

The gun show is closing.

NFL vice president of officiating Al Riveron announced four moves among the league’s corps of officials on Twitter on Tuesday, among them that longtime referee Ed Hochuli is retiring.

Hochuli has become something of a cult figure among NFL writers, broadcasters and fans for his buff physique – and the too-tight striped shirt he wore to cover his muscles, often opting for short sleeves even on the coldest of days.

A lawyer in his off-field life, the 67-year-old Hochuli has been an NFL referee since 1999, having began his career with the league as a back judge in 1990. He was the crew chief for 19 playoff games, including for Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.

Longtime NFL referee Ed Hochuli, right, is retiring. (AP)
Longtime NFL referee Ed Hochuli, right, is retiring. (AP)

Riveron also confirmed that another referee, Jeff Triplette, will retire; there were reports in January that Triplette was stepping away from officiating.

The replacements for Hochuli and Triplette have been chosen, and one of them is a familiar name: side judge Alex Kemp and back judge Shawn Hochuli, Ed’s son.

Kemp is relatively new to the NFL; writes that he’s been with the NFL since 2014, but was with the Big Ten for a few years previously. He also has a family tie to NFL officiating: his late father, Stan, was also a side judge and referee in the league.

Shawn Hochuli also joined the NFL in 2014, after working as a back judge and referee in the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences as well as the Arena Football League.

Both Kemp and Hochuli auditioned for the referee position during preseason games.

It does not appear that Shawn spends quite as much time in the gym as his dad.