Sports

NFL promotes Riveron to head of officiating

Blandino's No. 2 takes over for former boss

The NFL promoted Alberto Riveron to take over as the head of officiating on Wednesday, filling the role vacated when Dean Blandino stepped down last month.

Riveron, the first Hispanic referee in league history, was named senior vice president of officiating. He spent the past four seasons as senior director of officiating as Blandino's No. 2 and was an on-field official from 2004 to 2012, including the final four years as a referee.

"Al has done a terrific job as a key member of our officiating staff for the past four seasons," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Prior to that, Al was an outstanding on-field official who earned the respect of his fellow officials, as well as coaches and players alike."

The league also announced that Russell Yurk, an NFL replay veteran of seven years and a former NCAA and high school referee, was named vice president of replay and administration. Wayne Mackie, an NFL official with a decade of experience, also was added as vice president of officiating evaluation and development -- a department grading the referees each week.

Yurk and Mackie will report to Riveron, who reports to Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations.

"To have Al leading our officiating department, and then to add talented, knowledgeable instant replay and officiating experts like Russell and Wayne, is a tremendous positive for us as we look forward to the 2017 season," Goodell said.

Blandino was the league's head of officials since 2013 when he stepped down on April 14.

NFL Referees Association executive director Scott Green said at the time that he hoped Blandino's replacement would have on-field officiating experience -- something Blandino did not have on his resume.

"We all know Al from his days on the field and then as Dean's assistant," Green told USA Today. "So yes, we look forward to working with Al."


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