News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact
Baynes in the NFL

Baynes among inaugural class for officials HOF

Staff Report

Former Tallassee coach Ronnie Baynes will be inducted into the first class of the Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame.

Baynes had a successful coaching career in high school and college in addition to his rise through the ranks in officiating all the way to the top of the NFL.

In all, 12 officials will be recognized during the induction ceremony on Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham.

The 12 inductees are: Paul Andzrejewski, Ronnie Baynes, Ormond Brown, Dick Burleson, Mary Day, Ray Gargus, Walter Garrett, Apple Kridakorn, Joe Manjone, Bob Patrick, Sam Short and Bobby Skelton.

Tickets for the ceremony are $50. For more information, contact board chairman Greg Brewer at:

RONNIE BAYNES BIO: One of the most respected coaches and football officials in AHSAA history, the outstanding high school baseball and football coach rose through the ranks to become Supervisor of NFL Officials from 2001-2008.  The Talladega High School alumnus was an outstanding high school athlete who turned down a professional baseball offer to attend Auburn University – becoming one of the last four-sport lettermen in AU history (football, baseball, track and basketball). After completing his college eligibility, the All-SEC defensive end played in the 1965 Blue-Gray All-Star Game, then signed with the Dallas Cowboys before a knee injury ended his playing career. He began officiating at the high school level in 1971, then moved to the Southeastern Conference from 1974-1987.

He advanced to the NFL ranks in 1987 and was an on-field official for 14 years (1987-2001) before moving to Supervisor of Officials. After stepping down from that administrative position, he became Director of Scouting for the NFL until his retirement in 2015. His retirement has been short-lived. He currently serves as an SEC and Conference USA evaluator and trainer and is currently serving as Alliance of American Football Supervisor and Trainer.

Baynes officiated seven bowl games during his on-the-field career, including the National Championship Game featuring Oklahoma and Washington held at the Orange Bowl. He also officiated two Super Bowls, five NFC-AFC championship games.  He has been inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. One honor he especially treasures is the Art McNally Award, presented to Baynes in 2011. The highest honor an NFL official can attain, The Art McNally Award was created in 2002 by the NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and given annually to an NFL game official who exhibits exemplary professionalism, leadership and commitment to sportsmanship, on and off the field. This award is presented at the Pro Bowl each year.

Baynes coached five teams to AHSAA state baseball titles and took 16 teams to the state playoffs and coached Central Alabama Community College to a third-place finish at the JUCO World Series at Grand Junction (CO).