NFL referee Ed Hochuli has retired, the league announced Tuesday, ending a colorful career that made him one of the most recognized game officials in American sports.
Known for his long-winded explanations and exposed biceps, Hochuli, 67, will serve as an independent consultant to the league. The NFL promoted his son, back judge Shawn Hochuli, to replace him.
Hochuli is the second referee to retire since the end of the regular season; Jeff Triplette's retirement was confirmed in January. Triplette will be replaced by side judge Alex Kemp, the league announced.
Hochuli played college football at UTEP and is a founding partner of Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, a law firm in Phoenix. He joined the NFL in 1990 as a back judge, was promoted to referee in 1992 and entered the 2017 season as the NFL's second-longest tenured official. Fellow referee Walt Coleman was hired one year earlier, in 1989.
Hochuli's pending retirement has been rumored in league circles for months, but he refused on multiple occasions to confirm it publicly. He spent part of last week in his new role as an independent consultant, meeting with the NFL's competition committee and other football operations officials.