NFL announces retirement of referee Ed Hochuli, known for his bulging biceps and lengthy explanations

Referee Ed Hochuli makes a call during the first half of an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans in 2015.
(AJ Mast / Associated Press)

One of the NFL’s best-known referees is saying goodbye.

The league announced Tuesday that Ed Hochuli is retiring after 18 years — and he’s taking his bulging biceps and overly detailed explanations after penalties with him.

“I get notoriety because I explain things, and I get notoriety because I have a decent physique, which is funny because I’m a shrimp, a peewee compared to those players,” Hochuli told USA Today. “Neither one of those things has anything to do with whether I’m a good referee.”

The 67-year-old attorney started working as an NFL official in 1990 and officiated two Super Bowls, in 1998 and 2004. A former linebacker at the University of Texas at El Paso, Hochuli will be replaced as a referee by his son, Shawn Hochuli, who is being promoted from back judge.


Ed Hochuli will serve as an independent consultant to the league.

Another longtime referee, Jeff Triplette, whose officiating career began in 1996, announced his retirement in January. He will be replaced by former side judge Alex Kemp.

Twitter: @chewkiii