APB is a Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency

Speaking to the World

Boston | Chicago | San Diego | London
Paris | Istanbul | Rotterdam | Moscow

Ed  Hochuli

Ed Hochuli

One of the Most Recognizable Referees in NFL History


An NFL icon whose explanatory rulings and standout physique attracted a cult following, retired head referee and Super Bowl veteran Ed Hochuli is also an accomplished trial attorney and business founder. His motivational presentations on achieving success, crisis management, negotiation and team building showcase football as the ultimate analogy for life and business. Sharing NFL video highlights to illustrate his points, anecdotes from the field, insights about players and crowd-pleasing behind-the-scenes stories, Ed evangelizes the principle that he has lived his life by: Anyone can be successful if they are prepared to put in the effort. Read More >

During a 28-year reign that made him the NFL’s longest-tenured referee, Ed covered two Super Bowls (SB XXXII and SB XXXVIII), 10 conference championships, refereed 28 playoff games, the Pro Bowl and close to 600 NFL games, making split-second calls in front of millions. He has also been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, was called out in a Letterman “Top Ten List,” had his likeness appear in the Madden NFL video game franchise and played college football for four seasons at the University of Texas at El Paso. Ed was thrust into the pop culture spotlight when football legend and sportscaster Phil Simms circled the referee’s muscular arms during an NFL broadcast. Later, the tongue-in-cheek video “I Want to Be Ed Hochuli” perpetuated Ed’s celebrity status, racking up more than a million views on You Tube. Referring to Hochuli as “the referee with a barrel chest, chiseled jaw and Burmese pythons for arms,” the video also celebrated his dedication as “an attorney by trade who seeks justice on the football field.”

In addition to his fame in the NFL, Hochuli is a founding partner of Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, which he helped grow to one of the largest business litigation law firms in Arizona. Ed is one of the most experienced trial attorneys in Arizona, trying more than 150 civil jury trials to verdict during a career that spanned more than three decades. His speeches combine leadership lessons from the legal profession with his 28 years making tough calls and engaging in constant negotiation with players and coaches.

Sharing the best negotiation techniques for any field or endeavor, a playbook for crisis management and real world examples of how athletes from Peyton Manning to Tom Brady achieved their success through hard work and discipline, not just talent, Ed delivers energizing speeches that are as entertaining as they are motivational. A crowd-pleasing choice, he leaves football fans (and anyone who wants to up their game) saying, “I want to be Ed Hochuli!” Read Less ^

Speech Topics

The Average Joe Principle: How Anyone Can Achieve Success

How did Ed Hochuli go from officiating Pop Warner games in front of 50 parents to refereeing a Super Bowl with 350 million people watching? The same way Tom Brady went from being a sixth round draft pick to a five-time Super Bowl champion: Hard work. Successful people are successful because they choose to be. It’s all about attitude. Read More >

According to Ed, the very definition of the word “average” means that most people are either average or below average—and content to be so. Few people truly put out the effort to be the best that they can be. Ed believes that anyone can be highly successful if they make a conscious choice and follow a few simple principles. In this entertaining and enlightening presentation, Ed sums up the secret to success in what he calls the “Average Joe Principle.” Sharing anecdotes from on and off the field, entertaining video clips from his long career in the NFL, and actionable tips and practices, Ed unlocks the secrets to being successful at whatever job, sport or challenge you take on. Read Less ^

Managing a Crisis in Real Time: What Everyone Can Learn from NFL Refs

If there is one thing Ed Hochuli has experienced as an NFL official, it’s continuous crisis. After all, every single play in an NFL game is, in reality, part of a series of crises with unknown outcomes. For 28 years, Hochuli managed crisis under the watchful eye of the NFL brass, coaches, pundits, screaming fans and millions of viewers. He needed to immediately react to what was going on—by being exceptionally prepared for the possibility of whatever might happen next. In this illuminating presentation, Ed shares the hard-won lessons of crisis management learned officiating NFL games (including two Super Bowls) litigating high stakes legal cases and leading a large law practice. Noting that, “Nothing ever goes as expected, but if you truly plan for crisis, it’s not a crisis when it occurs,” he shows his theories in practice through video from NFL games.

Negotiating with the Big Boys

Incorporating NFL game video, personal stories about players and coaches, and lively audience participation, Ed explores the lessons he has learned negotiating with the Big Boys during 28 years as an NFL referee and more than three decades as a top trial lawyer. Asserting that every football game involves constant negotiations with players and coaches, he shares skills honed on the playing field while officiating almost 600 games. With entertaining NFL video demonstrating his points, Ed provides invaluable takeaways for effective, strategic negotiation from a perspective few have ever seen before.