About Jim Tunney

Dr. Jim Tunney, Dean of NFL Referees

Known as “The Dean of NFL Referees” Dr. Jim Tunney is an accomplished speaker having won The Cavett Award, the “Oscar” of professional speaking. It is presented annually to the professional speaker whose career has earned “outstanding credit, respect, honor and admiration in the National Speakers Association and the speaking profession.”

A past president of the National Speakers Association, he is a charter member of its most prestigious group — the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame — and holds every professional designation of the NSA.

He has worked with major corporations and associations all over the world to build teams, set effective goals, and increase productivity.

Regarded as the “Dean of NFL Referees”, Jim’s 31-year NFL career has earned him a nomination to the Pro Football (NFL) Hall of Fame.

Jim is also an author of such books as Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, and It’s the Will Not the Skill. He has written numerous articles including his weekly newspaper column The Tunney Side of Sports, and shares thoughts on his blog.

    • IN ACADEMICS

University of Southern California

  • Doctorate in Education 1975
  • Master’s Degree (Education) 1952

Occidental College

  • All-Conference Honors in Basketball
  • Athlete of the Year 1951
  • Bachelor’s Degree 1951
  • Alumni Seal Award (Alumnus of the Year) 1985
    • AS AN EDUCATOR

Los Angeles Unified School District

  • Hollywood High School
    • Principal 1973-1975
  • Franklin High School
    • Principal 1972-1973
  • Fairfax High School
    • Principal 1964-1971
  • Lincoln High School
    • LAUSD Vice Principal Assn, President 1962-1963
    • Boys’ Vice Principal 1959-1964
    • Registrar 1955-1959
    • Teacher and Coach 1951-1955

Herb Alpert Family Foundation

  • Educational Director 1970-1972

Bellflower Unified School District (Southern California)

  • Assistant Superintendent, Secondary Education 1975-1977
  • Superintendent of Schools 1977

York School (Monterey, California)

  • Headmaster 1993-94
  • Board of Trustees, 1995-2004

Monterey Peninsula College

  • Board of Trustees, 1997-2009
    • AS A SUCCESS TRAINER
  • Professional Speaker 1960-present
  • National Speakers Association
    • NSA Foundation Board of Trustees 1995-2001
    • CPAE Board of Governors Chairman 1983-1987
    • CPAE Board of Governors 1981-1987
    • CPAE and CSP, 1980
    • President 1986-1987
    • Board of Directors 1979-1983, 1985-1988
    • Member 1975-present
  • Speakers Associates/Speakers Roundtable
    • Member 1983-present
    • Executive Board 1985-1986, 1988-1989
  • Institute for the Study of Motivation and Achievement, Inc.
    • President 1976-1986
  • Jim Tunney Associates, Inc.
    • President 1986-present
    • IN THE COMMUNITY
  • Los Angeles Boys Club, Board of Directors 1979-1985
  • National Football Foundation/College Hall of Fame (Monterey), Board of Directors 1984-1994
  • California Special Olympics, State Board of Directors 1989-1991
  • National Association of Sports Officials, Board of Directors 1986-1991
  • National Association of Sports Officials, Chairman 1989-1990
  • National Football League Alumni (Pebble Beach), Board of Directors 1992-present
  • Camp Royal (Rotary Club), High School Leadership Camp, 1972-1990
  • Paul Harris Fellow, (Rotary International) 1984
  • Alhambra High School Hall of Fame, inducted first year established, 1984
  • American Lung Association Golf Tournament, Co-Chair, 1993
  • FSA Golf & Tennis Tournament, Honorary Chair, 1993
  • Alliance on Aging, Board of Directors, 1993-1994
  • Jim Tunney Youth Foundation, President, 1993-present
  • Salvation Army 100th Anniversary Honorary Cabinet, 1995
  • The Nido Qubein Associates Scholarship Fund Advisory Board, 1996-2002
  • Community Partnership for Youth Honorary Board of Directors, 1996-present
  • World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame Board of Directors, 1997-2002
  • U. S. Olympic Committee for Monterey/Salinas California Vice Chair, 1997-2000
    • AS A SPORTS OFFICIAL

Football and Basketball Official, 1951-1991

  • Championship games (high school, college) 1951-1963
  • Pacific Coast Conference (PAC-10), 1955-1967
  • Junior Rose Bowl Games, 1958, 1959, 1960
  • Southern California Football Officials Association, President 1959-1960
  • Southern California Basketball Officials Association, President, 1959-1961
  • Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner, 1961-1964

Professional Football Referees Association

  • Member 1972-1991, President 1979-1981

World Team Tennis

  • Umpire and Linesman 1977-1979

National Football League

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Nominee (5th time)
  • NFL Commissioner’s Officiating 2000 Committee, 1996
  • NFL Alumni, Member, 1995-present
  • NASO Gold Whistle Award, 1992
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame – Speaker, 1993, 1991, 1980
  • All-Madden Team, 1990
  • Sporting News Best NFL Official, 1990
  • Stovall Sports Clinic Man of the Year, 1989
  • NASO, Chairman, Board of Directors, 1987-1988
  • Emmett Ashford Community Spirit Award, 1987
  • NASO Keynote Presentation, First Annual Convention, 1981
  • Referee, 1967-1991
  • Field Judge, 1960-1966
  • Playoff Games – 10 Championship,8 Divisional, 6 Pro Bowls
  • And these Classic Games:
    • “The Fog Bowl” – Philadelphia at Chicago (12/31/88)
    • “The Final Fumble” – Cleveland at Denver (1/17/88)
    • “The Snowball Game” – San Francisco at Denver (11/11/85)
    • “The 100th Game” – Green Bay at Chicago (11/19/83)
    • “The Catch” – Dallas at San Francisco (1/10/82)
    • “The Kick” – Detroit at New Orleans (11/08/70)
    • “The Ice Bowl” – Dallas at Green Bay (12/31/67)
    • “The Field Goal” – Baltimore at Green Bay (12/26/65)
    • Super Bowl VI – 1972
    • Super Bowl XI – 1977
    • Super Bowl XII – 1978
    • Super Bowl XVIII – 1983 (alt)
    • AS A WRITER

Books:

  • IMPARTIAL JUDGMENT – The “Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, (Franklin Watts) 1988; (Griffin) 1995
  • CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SPORTS FAN’S SOUL, (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Health Communications) 2001
  • IT’S THE WILL NOT THE SKILL, (Executive Books) 2005, 2007

Contributing Author in Non-Fiction Collections:

  • Build A Better You-Starting Now!, Ed. Dible (Showcase) 1979
  • Insights Into Excellence, (Executive Books) 1988, 1989, 1990
  • You Can Do It!, Ed. Budler (Thomas Nelson) 1992
  • Speaking Secrets of the Masters (Executive Books) 1995
  • Taking Charge: Lessons in Leadership 2003

Columns:

  • “Speaking Out for Success,” Personal Selling Power 1987-1990
  • “Thoughts on the Line,” Referee 1982-1989
  • “President’s Column” Speak Out 1986-1987
  • “Elements of Excellence” Go-Getters 1992-93
  • “Tunney-Side-of-Sports”, Monterey Herald 2005-present

Numerous Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Audio:

  • “Here’s to the Winners” (2-cassette album), 1976, 1988, 1990
  • “A Professional Way to Winning” (6-cassette album), 1985
  • “Treasury of Humor” (ed. Nightingale-Conant), 1988
  • “P*R*I*D*E in Action,” 1993
  • “Secrets of Success,” 2008

Video:

  • “In Charge” Cally Curtis Productions, 1979
  • “P*R*I*D*E in Action” Jim Tunney Associates, 1993
    • IN TELEVISION AND OTHER MEDIA
  • Screen Actors Guild; AFTRA, Member 1978-present

Sports Programs:

  • KSBW-TV (NBC-Central Coast, California)
    Tunney Talks Sports weekly commentary 1991-92
  • WVTV-TV (CBS-Tampa)
    Super Bowl XXV sports reporter, 1991
  • World League of American Football
    Rules of the Game (ABC) (1991)
  • ESPN Sports Emmy Awards Show, 1991
  • Superstars ABC Sports Special
    Commissioner of Events, 1984, 1987, 1992, 1993
  • Battle of the Network Stars
    Commissioner of Events, 1978-1987
  • Super Bowl XXVI Special with Dan Dierdorf (ABC) 1992
  • Jose Cuervo Untamed Margarita Bowl III, IV, V, VI (ESPN-2) 1995-1999
  • John Madden All-Super-Bowl Team, (FOX) 1997

Video Games:

  • Mike Ditka’s Power Football (Accolade) 1991
  • Front Page Sports: Football (Dynamix) 1993
  • John Madden’s Football (Electronic Arts) 1994

Commercials:

  • Farrah Slacks, 1978
  • Datsun Automobiles, 1979
  • Central Coast Chevrolet Dealers, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
  • BUD BOWL, 1994, 1998
  • CBS 60 MINUTES, 1994

Public Service Announcements:

  • United Way, 1987-1991
  • Boys and Girls Club, 1990, 1991, 1993
  • Family Service Agency, 1991, 1992
  • National Football Foundation / College Hall of Fame, 1990-1994