David Parry ’84 sent this in memory of his father, David M. Parry ’57:
“Dave Parry made it to the big time as a pro and college football referee.
Former players and coaches also remember the 76-year-old as a high school athletic director in Michigan City, which remained his hometown even as he traversed the country officiating games.
Parry died Monday, May 16th from unexpected complications following multiple back surgeries.
Parry was a college football referee for 20 years and worked in the NFL from 1975 to 1990. He was assigned to 14 NFL playoff games, including four conference championship games, and was the side judge for the 1983 Super Bowl.
He became coordinator of football officials for the Big Ten in 1990 and helped the league become the first in college football to use instant replay.
Parry left the Big Ten to become the first national coordinator of officials in 2008. He resigned that position in February, citing health concerns, including Parkinson’s Disease.
“Dave was a leader in the game of football and had the unique ability and temperament to move seamlessly between officials and coaches both at the professional and collegiate levels, earning the respect of all,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “Dave was an educator at his core, and we will miss him terribly.”
Parry graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville in 1957 and is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Earlier in his career, Parry also officiated college basketball games in the Big Ten and Mid-American Conferences.
“Dave’s many contributions to college football and specifically officiating were significant,” Dennis Poppe, NCAA vice president of Division I football and baseball, said. “The sport of college football has lost a great man.”
Memorials may be made to the David M. Parry Foundation, c/o the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County, P.O. Box 527, Michigan City, IN 46360.”