NATCHITOCHES – Hammond native and LSU alumnus Terry McAulay, a 20-year NFL official who refereed three Super Bowls, is the 2021 winner of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award presented by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
McAulay, who retired from officiating in June 2018, is in his third season as the on-air rules expert for NBC’s game coverage of NFL Sunday Night Football and Saturday’s telecasts of Notre Dame contests.
Next summer during the Hall of Fame’s 2021 Induction Dinner and Ceremony in Natchitoches, he will become the 21st recipient of the Dixon Award since its inception in 2005, and will be enshrined in the Hall.
Raised in Hammond, McAulay earned a computer science degree from LSU, while he began his football officiating career, and went on to a 26-year professional career as a computer programmer and software engineer for the National Security Agency (NSA). He was an NFL official for 20 seasons (1998-2017), the final 17 as a referee after working just three seasons as a line judge.
He officiated a total of 316 games (267 as referee), 17 in the playoffs. McAulay worked seven NFC or AFC Championship games, and is in exclusive territory as one of just six NFL officials to referee at least three Super Bowls (Jerry Markbreit, 4; Norm Schachter, Jim Tunney, Pat Haggerty, Bob McElwee, McAulay, 3 each).
McAulay served as crew chief for Super Bowls XXXIX (New England vs. Philadelphia), XLIII (Pittsburgh vs. Arizona), XLVIII (Denver vs. Seattle). He was the first referee to draw a Super Bowl assignment with fewer than five seasons as a referee when he was the crew chief for Super Bowl XXXIX after only his fourth season.
He worked high school football and basketball games while in college, and moved to the Baltimore area in 1982 when he joined the NSA. He soon made the move to officiating college football in some smaller leagues and became a referee in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1994.
McAulay was the referee for the 1998 Nebraska-Tennessee BCS title game in the Orange Bowl and accepted an NFL officiating post for the 1998 season. While throwing flags and blowing whistles for 20 pro seasons, he maintained his involvement with the college ranks as coordinator of officials for 10 seasons for the Big East and American Athletic Conferences.
The Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award has been presented annually by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s 40-member Hall of Fame selection committee to an individual who has played a decisive role as a sports leader or administrator benefiting Louisiana and/or bringing credit to Louisiana on the national and international level.
It is named in honor of the 1999 LSHOF inductee, an entrepreneur and innovator who is credited as the key figure in bringing an NFL franchise to New Orleans, and the development of the Mercedes Benz Louisiana Superdome.
McAulay is the fourth sports referee to receive the Dixon Award. College basketball’s Gerald Boudreaux was enshrined in 2010, followed by boxing’s Elmo Adolph a year later, and in 2019, women’s tennis official Marie Gagnard was honored. The only other referee in the Hall is 1975 inductee Johnny Lynch, a college football official.
McAulay will be among the 2021 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class headlined by eight “competitive ballot” inductees announced in September.
Marques Colston, the all-time leading receiver for the New Orleans Saints, joins two of LSU’s greatest competitors, basketball’s Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and football’s Glenn Dorsey, former LSU football coach Nick Saban and Southern Jaguars baseball star Rickie Weeks among eight competitive ballot inductees set to enter the Hall of Fame next summer.
The LSHOF Class of 2021 also includes Baton Rouge native Courtney Blades-Rogers, considered one of college softball’s best pitchers ever as a phenomenal player at Nicholls and Southern Mississippi. North Louisiana is represented by Bastrop native and Grambling alumnus Ronnie Coleman, the eight-time Mr. Olympia bodybuilding champion, and Natchitoches native Villis “Bo” Dowden, the 1980 Bassmaster Classic champion.
Inducted next summer as winners of the LSWA’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism will be trailblazing New Orleans television sports anchor Ro Brown, longtime Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland, also sports publicist at Northwestern State from 1989-2019; and Baton Rouge Advocate sportswriter Sheldon Mickles.
The 2021 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
The 2020 Dixon Award winner was longtime University of Tennessee women’s athletic director Joan Cronan, an Opelousas native and LSU graduate.
Past Dixon Award recipients include the 2018 winner, Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints player who has become globally acknowledged as one of the world’s leading advocates for people diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
In 2008, the Dixon Award went to world-renowned orthopedic Dr. James Andrews, a Homer native, LSU graduate and SEC champion pole vaulter.
Paul Hoolahan, executive director and chief executive officer of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic for 23 years, was presented the 2015 Dixon Award.
The 2016 winner was world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Julian Bailes, a Natchitoches native and LSU graduate who has become a leading figure in the field of sports-related concussion research and treatment.
Sue Donohoe, who served as the NCAA’s vice president for women’s basketball for 12 years, and also directed the men’s basketball NCAA Division I championship, was the 2017 recipient.
The 2021 LSHOF Induction Celebration is slated to kick off Thursday, June 24, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, June 26 Induction Dinner and Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, will become available next spring through the LaSportsHall.com website.
Dates for the twice-postponed 2020 LSHOF Induction festivities will be announced in the coming weeks.
Adding to the 350 sports competitors currently enshrined, 19 winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership award and 64 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, there are 433 current members of the Hall of Fame before inductions for the 2020 and 2021 classes.
The Induction Celebrations weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com. Standard and customized sponsorships are available.
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