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jim tunney - former nfl referee and hall of fame speaker on journey to success radio

Jim Tunney was an NFL referee for 31 years. He is also a contributor to Phil Taylor's 17 Biblical Principles of Success audio program.

I had the great pleasure to interview Jim for Journey To Success Radio.


about jim tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal, and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was “The Face of NFL officiating” working a record twenty-nine post-season games including three Super Bowls (two back-to-back), ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night games, when MNF was THE game of the week.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history, including “The Ice Bowl”, “The Kick”, “The Snowball Game”, “The Final Fumble”, “The Fog Bowl”, and “The Catch”.   His book “IMPARTIAL JUDGMENT: “The Dean of NFL Referees” calls Pro Football as He Sees It”, chronicles his NFL career. 

He has been nominated to the Pro Football (NFL) Hall of Fame 11 times. He currently works as a trainer for the NFL attending a game on a weekly basis with the goal of making the best on-field officials better.

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As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of the National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group---The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Philanthropist of the Year and The Cavett—the Oscar of professional speaking.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as former headmaster and trustee of York School and former Trustee of Monterey Peninsula College. MPC honored him with its President’s Award in 2009. Moreover, that same year he was awarded the Citizen of the Year by the Monterey Chamber of Commerce.

In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. To date JTYF has made grants exceeding a quarter million dollars. 

He has been inducted into the Alhambra High School (his alma mater) Hall of Fame; the California Community College Football Hall of Fame; the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, National Speakers Hall of Fame, and was the first and only administrator inducted into the Fairfax High School Hall of Fame – where he served as principal for seven years. He has been nominated for the Pro Football (NFL) Hall of Fame 11 times. 

He has authored or co-authored eleven books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Super Bowl Sunday, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, Lessons in Leadership, Insights into Excellence, You Can Do It! Build a Better You, and It’s the Will, Not the Skill,  101 Best of Tunney Side of Sports, and his new book (2016) “Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports. He writes a weekly column for the Monterey Herald with that same title. 

Former NFL referee Jim Tunney looks at sports issues good, bad, right, or wrong and draws from them positive examples for everyday living. His insights and observations can make a difference in anyone s personal and/or professional life and help make life more fun, healthier, and more productive. Topics include attitude, character, competence, courage, family, honor, integrity, judgment, mentoring, personal growth, success, and teamwork.