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Ronald J. "Ron" Winter is a retired American football official who officiated in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1995 through 2013 seasons. Winter previously served as a football official for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Ron Winter
Nationality United States
OccupationNFL official (1995–2013)

Winter wore uniform No. 14 (previously No. 82, 1995–1997). Winter's 2013 NFL officiating crew consisted of umpire Carl Paganelli, head linesman Jim Howey, line judge Gary Arthur, field judge Scott Steenson, side judge Tom Hill, and back judge Greg Steed.[1] He was the alternate referee of Super Bowl XLIII.



Winter was a physical education professor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He retired at the end of the 2007–08 school year after having served for more than 38 years.[2]

Officiating careerEdit

College careerEdit

Winter was a referee in the Big Ten Conference. His final game as a collegiate official was the 1995 Orange Bowl, when Nebraska defeated Miami 24-17 to conclude a 13-0 season and wrap up the national championship, the first for Cornhuskers coach Tom Osborne in 22 seasons at the helm.

NFL careerEdit

He entered the NFL as a line judge in 1995, and later was promoted to referee in 1998 after Dale Hamer returned to the head linesman position and Gary Lane returned to the side judge position.

In his first playoff assignment as a referee, Winter refereed the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers Wild Card playoff game in January, 2003. In this game, back judge Scott Green did not realize that New York's Rich Seubert had lined up legally in a receiver's spot and failed to call a defensive pass interference foul against him during a failed field goal attempt, instead penalizing him for ineligible receiver downfield. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue described the situation as the most disappointing officiating blunder he'd seen in his years as NFL commissioner[3] and announced that officiating mechanics surrounding field-goal attempts and last plays of games would be changed.[4]


Winter's retirement was announced on April 3, 2014.[5]


  1. ^ "2013 NFL officiating crews".
  2. ^ "WMU Trustees approve faculty, staff retirements". October 16, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
  3. ^ King, Peter (January 14, 2003). "They're Only Human". Retrieved August 29, 2006.
  4. ^ Attner, Paul (January 20, 2003). "Taking the fall for one bad call". The Sporting News. Retrieved August 29, 2006. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ Austro, Ben (April 3, 2014). "R Ron Winter retires after 19 seasons". Football Zebras. Retrieved April 9, 2014.