best NFL official EVAR
EDITOR’S NOTE: I love me some Alberto Riveron, so I couldn’t be happier to have seen his recent promotion in the press release posted below.
(Sorry, Dean Blandino. I have this weird thing — not good-weird, but bad-weird — for guys named Dean, and you were no Mike Pereira, either.)
Alberto Riveron, a member of the NFL’s Officiating Department since 2013 and a nine-year veteran NFL game official has been named NFL senior vice president of officiating.
Riveron will oversee all aspects of the league’s officiating department – including the implementation of the centralized replay model approved by clubs at the annual meeting in March – as well as administration, evaluation and development.
A native of Cuba, Riveron moved to Miami at age five with his family and developed a passion for the game. He began as an official in local youth leagues in 1977, made his collegiate officiating debut in 1990 before joining the NFL officiating ranks in 2004. In 2008, Riveron was promoted to referee, earning the distinction as the NFL’s first Hispanic referee. Riveron came off the field following the 2012 season to join the league office as senior director of officiating.
“Al has done a terrific job as a key member of our officiating staff for the past four seasons,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “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. 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.”
Reporting to Riveron, who will report to NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, will be two new hires designed to aid in the department’s long-standing goal of excellence in officiating performance –Russell Yurk and Wayne Mackie.
Yurk joins the staff as Vice President of Instant Replay and Administration. In this role, Yurk will direct the league’s instant replay operations in the Art McNally GameDay Central room and oversee all instant replay-related personnel. Yurk will also be responsible for officiating administration, including supervising operational aspects of scheduling and logistics as well as the training and development of instant replay personnel.
Yurk spent the past seven seasons as an NFL instant replay official after working as an on-field official for 10 seasons at the high school and college level. An instant replay expert, Yurk assisted in authoring the replay section of the NFL Referee’s Manual for the past two years.
Mackie, a 10-year veteran NFL game official, has been named Vice President of Officiating Evaluation and Development, responsible for the officiating evaluation and development program, managing the on-field officials weekly crew evaluation process, as well the staff of officiating supervisors and trainers, and the management of the Officiating Development Program.
A highly-respected on-field game official for the past two decades at the collegiate and professional level, Mackie entered the NFL in 2007 as a head linesman and quickly established himself as one of the league’s top officials at his position. Mackie has officiated in eight NFL playoff games, including serving as head linesman at Super Bowl 50 and for two conference championship games during his 10-year NFL career.
Mackie began his collegiate officiating career in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1996 and also officiated in the Atlantic 10 and Big East through his final collegiate season in 2006 prior to joining the NFL.
Riveron, Yurk and Mackie will all work in GameDay Central throughout the season and have the final say on instant replay decisions, in consultation with the referee as part of the new replay rules for the 2017 season.
“Al, Russell and Wayne are a team dedicated to delivering the highest quality of officiating and game administration in professional sports,” Vincent said. “The structure of their responsibilities will provide us with a sustainable model for greater efficiency, improved performance from our officials, and operational excellence in collaboration, development and training of our officiating team.”