Vincent J. Reilly
Enshrined : 2007 (Posthumous)
New Haven Football Officials
Known as "The Commissioner," Vincent J. Reilly is considered
the godfather of modern football officiating in the
State of Connecticut. So influential has he been in the development
of the CFOA and officiating in general, the State
Board named its Distinguished Service Award in his honor.
Every year, the six member boards of the CFOA choose a
member or alumnus that has done much to contribute to
the association and officiating with the Vincent J. Reilly
The New Haven Football Officials Association, the group
that Reilly oversaw for more than 40 years, first as the prep
school assigning commissioner then as the general assignment
commission, changed its name in his honor.
From the 1940s through 2002, Reilly was a member of
the group, seeing officiating go from only the referee having
a whistle, and horns used to signal fouls, to five-man
officiating crews with complex rules and mechanics.
Through it all, Reilly could be a taskmaster and pater familias,
making sure the officials he put out on the field were
ready to go.
He was a founder of the state board, and served as a delegate
from New Haven through 2002, when he stepped down from all duties. He helped guide the state board
and shepherd it through some difficult times, but always with the intent of gaining respect for the member associations
and the officials they represented.
He was a strong advocate of the state clinic concept and worked tirelessly to get five officials on the field when
that became an issue in the 1990s.
Though he retired from field work well before the state playoffs were established, he was considered a top-notch
referee on the prep and high school levels and was a member of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate
Football Officials and a founding member of the Connecticut Chapter.
For more than 30 years he worked collegiate hockey and counted two national championship games as his
accomplishments. He was the ECAC hockey assigner for more than 20 years, and was honored by that group for
Among the awards he received was the Officials' Award from the Gene Casey-New Haven Football Foundation
and Hall of Fame, New Haven Gridiron Club Officials Award, several public service awards and coaching honors.
Prior to his officiating career, he coached several Industrial League and sandlot teams in football, basketball