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AssignmentsDivisional assignments: Leavy, McAulay, Steratore, Vinovich

Divisional assignments: Leavy, McAulay, Steratore, Vinovich

week19

Football Zebras has confirmed the officiating crews for the Wild Card weekend. Officials are listed with their uniform number, years experience (including this season), the crew each official worked with in the regular season (by the referee’s name), college, and outside occupation. As reported earlier, the Super Bowl officials are mixed in with the Divisional Playoff crews. (McAulay is ineligible due to last year’s assignment.)

Three alternates are assigned to each game: generally, one is designated for the offensive backfield (a referee or umpire), one is on the line of scrimmage (head linesman or line judge), and one is a deep position (side judge, field judge, or back judge).

All times are Eastern.

The prior playoff experience listed for the crew chief includes his service as an NFL official, including as referee and any other crew position (excluding alternate assignments).


Saturday, Jan. 10

Ravens at Patriots, 4:35 p.m. (NBC)

Bill Vinovich is the referee, who is in his 9th year and 6th as referee. This is his 6th postseason assignment (2 Wild Card Playoffs, 3 Divisional Playoffs, and 1 Conference Championship).

Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
R 52 Bill Vinovich 10 San Diego accountant, former NFL officiating supervisor
U 49 Rich Hall 11 Hochuli Arizona custom cabinetry
HL 106 Wayne Mackie 8 Steratore Colgate director of operations, housing
LJ 108 Gary Arthur 18 Steratore Wright State president, commercial printing company
FJ 118 David Meslow 4 Blakeman Augsburg College marketing manager
SJ 21 Jeff Lamberth 13 Wrolstad Texas A&M attorney
BJ 112 Tony Steratore 15 Boger California (Pa.) co-owner, supply company
  • Replay official: Mike Wimmer
  • Replay assistant: Terry Poulos
  • Alternates: R Ronald Torbert, HL John McGrath and SJ Scott Edwards
  • Supervisors: Johnny Grier, Al Riveron

Panthers at Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. (Fox)

Terry McAulay is the referee, who is in his 17th year and 14th as referee. This is McAulay’s 15th postseason assignment (2 Wild Card Playoffs, 3 Divisional Playoffs, 7 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XXXIX, XLIII, and last year’s XLVIII. His Super Bowl assignments were all as a referee. In a scheduling quirk, this is the third assignment of McAulay to the Seahawks in their last four playoff games

Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
R 77 Terry McAulay 17 Louisiana State college officiating coordinator
U 96 Undrey Wash 15 Cheffers Texas-Arlington claims controller
HL 74 Derick Bowers 12 Parry East Central sales representative
LJ 9 Mark Perlman 14 Leavy Salem teacher
FJ 25 Bob Waggoner 18 Steratore Juniata College retired probation officer
SJ 73 Joe Larrew 13 Parry St Louis attorney
BJ 111 Terrence Miles 7 Anderson Arizona State quality control manager
  • Replay official: Earnie Frantz
  • Replay assistant: Brian Matoren
  • Alternates: R Craig Wrolstad, LJ Byron Boston, SJ Mike Weatherford
  • Supervisor: Garth DeFelice

Sunday, Jan. 11

Cowboys at Packers, 1 p.m. (Fox)

Gene Steratore is the referee, who is in his 12th year and 9th as referee. This is his 8th postseason assignment, including 2 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
R 114 Gene Steratore 12 Kent State co-owner, supply company
U 129 Bill Schuster 15 Coleman Alfred insurance broker
HL 8 Dana McKenzie 7 Morelli Toledo claims adjuster
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 5 Vinovich Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services
FJ 43 Terry Brown 9 Boger Tennessee probation supervisor
SJ 97 Tom Hill 16 Allen Carson Newman teacher
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 6 Cheffers Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative
  • Replay official: Bill Spyksma
  • Replay assistant: Terry Sullivan
  • Alternates: R Jeff Triplette, HL Jim Howey, FJ Dyrol Prioleau
  • Supervisor: Gary Slaughter

Colts at Broncos, 4:40 p.m. (CBS)

Bill Leavy is the referee. This is his 20th year and 14th as referee. This is Leavy’s 16th postseason assignment, including 4 Wild Card Playoffs, 9 Divisional Playoffs, 1 Conference Championship, and Super Bowls XXXIV and XL. The first Super Bowl was as a back judge, the second was as a referee.

Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
R 127 Bill Leavy 20 San Jose State retired firefighter
U 71 Ruben Fowler 9 Blakeman Huston-Tillotson retired firefighter
HL 48 Jim Mello 11 Allen Northeastern facilities manager
LJ 10 Julian Mapp 6 Parry Grambling State software QA tester
FJ 33 Steve Zimmer 18 Wrolstad Hofstra attorney
SJ 95 James Coleman 10 McAulay Arkansas electrical engineer
BJ 133 Steve Freeman 14 Triplette Mississippi State custom home builder
  • Replay official: Larry Nemmers
  • Replay assistant: Bill Tracy
  • Alternates: R Walt Coleman, LJ Tom Stephan, SJ Michael Banks
  • Supervisor: Neely Dunn
Ben Austro
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

64 thoughts on “Divisional assignments: Leavy, McAulay, Steratore, Vinovich

  1. After Bill Leavy’s numerous bad calls and non-calls, he should not even have a job in the NFL, much less reffing a decisive divisional playoff game!

  2. Any one of these guys would be a good choice to Referee this years Super Bowl. It would have been really nice to see Tony Corriente in the mix as well…

  3. Lmao steratore is a crook and bets on the games. It’s obvious by his long explanations of each call and that little smirk he has when making a call. You can see it in his face

  4. Either Steratore and Vinovich – they haven’t done a SB yet whereas Leavy has had 2. I really thought that this would be Carl Cheffers year for the SB.

  5. Tell Gene to pull down his damn sleeves, stop swaggering as he preps to announce a penalty, and hope Vinovich screws up. They are both cocky, but Vin. did come back after a brief leave for health reasons AND helped with the replacements.

  6. Thankfully Vinovich is far away from Denver. His crew was atrocious in the ’12 playoff game.

    Other three are all solid. I have no good knowledge, but I’ll guess Corrente/Anderson next week, and then who knows (Leavy?) for Super Bowl.

  7. I don’t know why you guys don’t like Bill Vinovich. These refs are well-trained and put their best effort into making the right calls on the field.

  8. good to see Gene, but I thought Ed from the wild card round would be the SB referee, my other guess would be Vinovich, don’t know the hell Leavy got a Divisional round game. Gene is also a college basketball referee

  9. When you look at the back judge position there are probably only 3 or 4 possibilities of working the Super Bowl. There are 16 back judges as Dornan retired before the season. Patrick, Martinez and Shaw have less than 5 years experience. Yette has 5 years but only one playoff game while Quirk has 5 years and 3 playoff games which would make him eligible but I doubt they would use an official with only 5 years of experience. Helverson, Wilson, P. Paganelli and Dyer worked last week and Freeman worked the Super Bowl last year so these 5 won’t work the Super Bowl.
    This leaves 6 possibilities: Ferguson, Miles, Dino Paganelli , Prukop, Stead and T. Steratore. Miles and Prukop have eached worked 2 playoff in the last three years so if they work this weekend they are eligible but since they have only been in the league 7 and 6 years and have not worked a conference championship I think it is unlikely that they will work the Super Bowl. Dino Paganelli worked the SB in 2013 so he is eligible but it is very rare for an official to work 2 out of three Super Bowls. Since 2005 only his brother Carl Paganelli has worked 2 out of three Super Bowls and he has done it twice (2005 and 2007, 2012 and 2014). Thus the most likely scenario is for Ferguson, Steed or T. Steratore to work the Super Bowl.

  10. How on earth did Leavy get put into the playoff mix? How many apologies for blown calls will we hear after that game? Leavy in another Seahawks Super Bowl (or any Super Bowl)? Terrifying thought.

  11. Gene had NFC title game last year. It’s his time for the big game. Every time I see Vinovich on a game, something gets jacked up.

  12. Glad to see LJ 108 Arthur get a divisional game! Does a great job! Pulling for Gary to get the SB at LJ

  13. Gene Streator is my cousin, although we don’t communicate very often. He, his brother Tony, a back judge in the NFL #112, and their dad, Gene Sr, are lifelong referees from the NCAA.
    Officiating basketball and football for more years than most. Knowing how they were raised, and how serious they take their “part time ” jobs, you will not find anyone that puts in as much time and effort to do their best to try and make the right call every time.
    Hope you get the big game this year Geno, Tony already has worked two.

    Cuz Rick

  14. Dear nick. Next time you hang with steretore can you ask him who he is betting on in the pats game? That way Chris and I can get down. Thanks on advance

  15. Im a denver fan and I also was very happy to . See Vinivich doing the new england game. His crew calls offensive holds that are very ticky tac. The games are to slow because of all of the flags.

  16. Refguy- wanna know why a lot of us don’t like Bill? Watch the number games his crew has butchered over time that’s why. Steratore is a little cocky but his crew has improved over the last few years. Leavy gets a playoff game? Pft….I would bet Corrente has one of the title games next week. He should be in one of this week’s games over Leavy any day….

  17. And hey fellow pison Nick- I’m sure he’s a nice guy but this is about performance on the job. That’s what matters here. You mention that way too much cuz…

  18. Leavy sucks he should not be allowed in any football stadium for the rest of his life. One terrible call after another.

  19. Posting Leavy’s crew here for now. I only want to update the post once.

    Referee……………………………….Bill Leavy (127)
    Umpire……………………………Ruben Fowler (71)
    Head Linesman………………………Jim Mello (48)
    Line Judge…………………………Julian Mapp (10)
    Field Judge……………………..Steve Zimmer (33)
    Side Judge……………………James Coleman (65)
    Back Judge……………………Steve Freeman (133)
    Replay Official……………………..Larry Nemmers
    Replay Assistant……………………………Bill Tracy

  20. Thank you Ben
    I found the official I wanted to know about in your post.
    Wish I knew where you got the list.
    Again Thank You

  21. Carolina vs Seattle Officials
    REFEREE: Terry McAulay (77);
    UMPIRE: Undrey Wash (96);
    HEAD LINESMAN: Derrick Bowers (74);
    LINE JUDGE: Mark Perlman (9);
    FIELD JUDGE: Bob Waggoner (25);
    SIDE JUDGE: Joe Larrew (73);
    BACK JUDGE: Terrence Miles (111);
    ALTERNATES:
    Craig Wrolstad (4),
    Byron Boston (18),
    Mike Weatherford (116);
    REPLAY OFFICIAL: Earnie Frantz;
    REPLAY ASSISTANT: Brian Matoren.

  22. Looking at Leavy’s crew for his game it is unlikely anyone will work the SB from this game provided that the info that the SB is down to Steratore or Vinovich is correct. The back judge (Freeman) worked the SB last year as did the HL (Mello). Since the HL and SJ are likely to go in tandem to the SB this would also eliminate the SJ (Coleman). The LJ and FJ should also go as a pair and this would eliminate Zimmer and Mapp since Mapp has only worked one playoff game.

  23. After last weeks mess with the dallas game why is the least experienced crew officiating the game in Green Bay?

  24. Now that we have seen the divisional officials here are my guesses for the Super Bowl.
    Referee: Gene Steratore
    Umpire: Bill Schuster
    Head Linesman: Dana McKenzie
    Line Judge: Mark Perlman
    Field Judge: Bob Waggoner
    Side Judge: Tom Hill
    Back Judge: Tony Steratore

    The LJ and FJ should be locks when you look at the four crews. Each of the other crews have at least one official in the LJ-FJ combo who have not worked three playoff games in their career. Marl Perlman has worked the playoffs every year since 2004 which is very impressive. Terry McAuley, Ed Hochuli and Carl Paganelli do not have a streak this long.
    Since this crew is does not have any minorities on it I could see Wayne Mackie and Jimmy DeBell working the HL-SJ positions or Terrance Miles working as the back judge.

  25. Wasn’t Blakeman supposed work the BAL NE game earlier this week? I swear I read that he was to work the game on here right after the game ended Saturday. Did they change it? I am just curious, all I want to see for every single game is a fairly called game favoring neither side, and consistently called over the whole game and everyone doing their best job they can. I think it is all one can ask for, but at the same time it must be demanded every time. I think people just want to see a fair contest with Refereeing present but invisible in the end. In theater they say if you come out singing the set, the play was bad. I hope for everyone we all come out singing the players and games in all the matches this weekend. Best of luck to all the referee crews. Thanks football zebras for such an excellent site.

  26. Will the Super Bowl officials be drawn from the group above or perhaps another crew entirely? Surprised I don’t see Hochuli yet.

  27. Here Is the Steratore Crew For All of The Gene Steratore Fans Out There
    Sunday, Jan. 11

    Cowboys at Packers, 1 p.m. (Fox)

    Gene Steratore is the referee, who is in his 12th year and 9th as referee. This is his 8th postseason assignment, including 2 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

    Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
    R 114 Gene Steratore 12 Kent State co-owner, supply company
    U 129 Bill Schuster 15 Coleman Alfred insurance broker
    HL 8 Dana McKenzie 7 Morelli Toledo claims adjuster
    LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 5 Vinovich Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services
    FJ 43 Terry Brown 9 Boger Tennessee probation supervisor
    SJ 97 Tom Hill 16 Allen Carson Newman teacher
    BJ 30 Todd Prukop 6 Cheffers Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative
    Replay official: Bill Spyksma
    Replay assistant: Terry Sullivan
    Alternates: R Jeff Triplette, HL Jim Howey, FJ Dyrol Prioleau
    Supervisor:Gary Slaughter

  28. You guys are all “betting on who will ref the Super Bowl”, but you do know that the Super Bowl ref was decided and announced a long time ago, right? Jerome Boger is the Super Bowl Referee.

  29. I watched firsthand the egregious error commited by the replay officials in the Dallas/Green Bay divisional playoff on 11-Jan-2015 (overturn of Dez Bryant catch). I understand officiaiting is an imprecise science during live play. The human eye can only perceive and process so much at a high velocity. The above facts justify the use of a slow-motion replay to confirm accurate calls. Unfortuantely, the replay process failed at an epic level today. Any way you look at the Dez Bryant catch there is overwhelming evidence the ball was caught, controlled for 3 steps and a stretch lunge was made for the goal line; period. The reversal today was a gross error in interpreting the rules. If Bryant had caught the ball and hit the ground prior to taking 3 steps, the reversal would have been the right call; however, this is clearly not the case. To make an error in live action is understandable, but to totally mis-apply a rule during a review by a supposed rules expert is unacceptable and such a travesty to the Dallas Cowboys. Shame on you Mr. Spyksma or whoever the replay offical was for this game. I do not know how you will be able to sleep at night…………………….

  30. Hey Dantheman…. Cowboys got what they deserved since they should not have been there in the first place. The Detroit Lions had TWO missed calls in the game the week before. And Dez had to maintain control throughout the catch which he didn’t do.

  31. Harbs, cowboys don’t derve anything. Idea is to get all the calls right.

    BTW, why is nobody talking about the fact that Dez’s right elbow was down on ground with clear possession of the ball before he landed on his chest. An elbow equals a knee when contacted by the defender.

  32. As I know and as a former official, in the controversial call, the pass was captured and then, the play convert into a run play because Braynt had control of ball, made three steps and fall. The SJ Terry Brown make the dead ball signal and blow his whitle. Result of the play: first and goal Dallas inside yard one.

  33. One of the dumbest rules in the book (NCAA’s too) as this whole complete the process crap is BS…it defies the laws of physics: ball in motion is caught by virtue of the fact it is not moving. Add his two feet/ knee/elbow, and he is down. What happens after that is irrelevant. Boggles my mind that laws of the physical word don’t apply in the NFL. I am aGiants fan. BTW.

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