Football Zebras
2015 PostseasonWild Card referees: Torbert, Parry, Coleman, Steratore

Wild Card referees: Torbert, Parry, Coleman, Steratore

Wild Card Playoff referees Ron Torbert, John Parry, Walt Coleman, and Gene Steratore

Football Zebras has confirmed the referees for the Wild Card weekend. Officials are listed with their uniform number, years of NFL experience (including this season), the crew each official worked with in the regular season (by the referee’s name), college, and outside occupation.

All times are Eastern.

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). When alternates are listed, their position during the regular season is also given. The prior playoff experience that is 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. 9

AFC Wild Card: Chiefs at Texans, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN/ABC)

Ron Torbert is the referee, who is in his 6th season and 2nd as referee. This is the first season he is eligible for a postseason assignment at the referee position. (First-year referees and first-year officials cannot qualify for postseason assignments.) This is his 4th postseason assignment (2 Wild Card Playoffs and 2 Divisional Playoffs); he has received a playoff assignment in every year he was eligible.

      Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 62 Ron Torbert 6   Michigan State attorney
U 124 Carl Paganelli 16 Torbert Michigan State retired federal probation officer
HL 48 Jim Mello 12 Allen Northeastern facilities manager
LJ 10 Julian Mapp 7 Wrolstad Grambling State software QA tester
FJ 67 Doug Rosenbaum 15 Allen Illinois Wesleyan financial consultant
SJ 55 Alex Kemp 2 Triplette Central Michigan insurance agent
BJ 133 Steve Freeman 15 Triplette Mississippi State custom home builder
  • Replay Official: Billy Smith
  • Replay Assistant: Jim Grant
  • Alternates: Jeff Triplette (R), Greg Bradley (HL), ?
  • Supervisor: Gary Slaughter

AFC Wild Card: Steelers at Bengals, 8:15 p.m. (CBS)

John Parry is the referee, who is in his 16th season and 9th as referee. This is Parry’s 11th postseason assignment, and his first since his Super Bowl assignment four years ago. Parry has been assigned to 2 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 1 Conference Championship, and Super Bowls XLI and XLVI. The first Super Bowl assignment was as a side judge.

      Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 132 John Parry 16   Purdue financial advisor
U 131 Mark Pellis 2 Parry Allegheny financial advisor
HL 8 Dana McKenzie 8 (swing) Toledo claims adjuster
LJ 107 Ron Marinucci 19 Hussey Glassboro State vice president, novelty cone company
FJ 82 Buddy Horton 17 Corrente Oregon State water service worker
SJ 1 Scott Novak 2 Cheffers Phoenix sales manager
BJ 46 Perry Paganelli 18 Parry Hope College retired high school administrator
  • Replay Official: Tom Sifferman
  • Alternates: Jerome Boger (R), Ed Camp (HL), Steve Patrick (BJ)

Sunday, Jan. 10

NFC Wild Card: Seahawks at Vikings, 1 p.m. (NBC)

Walt Coleman is the referee, who is in his 27th season and 21st as referee; he has the most seniority of any current official. This will be Coleman’s 17th postseason assignment, including 6 Wild Card Playoffs, 9 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

      Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 65 Walt Coleman 27   Arkansas manager dairy processor
U 11 Fred Bryan 7 Allen Northern Iowa superintendent, juvenile correctional facility
HL 91 Jerry Bergman 14 Coleman Robert Morris sales executive
LJ 100 Tom Symonette 12 Allen Florida certified public accountant
FJ 88 Brad Freeman 2 Cheffers Mississippi State sports park director
SJ 97 Tom Hill 17 Allen Carson Newman teacher
BJ 39 Rich Martinez 2 Coleman Canisius sales manager
  • Replay Official: Tommy Moore
  • Replay Assistant: Glenn King
  • Alternates: Brad Allen (R), ?, ?
  • Supervisor: Garth DeFelice
  • Observer: Alberto Riveron

NFC Wild Card: Packers at Washington, 4:40 p.m. (Fox)

Gene Steratore is the referee, who is in his 13th year and 10th as referee. This is his 9th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

      Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 114 Gene Steratore 13   Kent State co-owner, supply company
U 40 Butch Hannah 17 Anderson Middle Tennessee State retired federal probation officer
HL 22 Steve Stelljes 14 Anderson Friends business planning manager
LJ 9 Mark Perlman 15 Parry Salem teacher
FJ 103 Eugene Hall 2 Anderson North Texas federal agent
SJ 25 Bob Waggoner 19 Steratore Juniata College retired probation officer
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 7 Anderson Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative
  • Replay Official: Paul Weidner
  • Replay Assistant: Mike Chase
  • Alternates: John Hussey* (R), Laird Hayes (SJ), Terrence Miles (BJ)

*Note: Hussey does not qualify for a postseason assignment since this is his first year as a referee, but he is qualified to work as an alternate.

48 thoughts on “Wild Card referees: Torbert, Parry, Coleman, Steratore

  1. wow that is a demotion for Gene. He has been the conference referee the past two years and now he only gets a wild card game

  2. Don’t you think Gene deserved a demotion?

    If you want to call out someone getting screwed, say the words…Walt Coleman.

    Coleman has had an outstanding year but does it without ego or panache.

    Based on his work, deserves a significant post season game but looking at the history of playoff assignments – the best arbitrators don’t work the most important games.

    What a shame.

  3. Good to see John Parry back in the playoffs. Ron Torbert is a really good ref and well deserved. Gene seemed to struggle a lot this season and not surprising he gets a wild card game. I think Walt Coleman is deserving of a playoff game as well

  4. Hey guys- the divisional round hasn’t been announced yet and that’s where the Super Bowl ref comes from these days. I think Torbert is one of the better refs. I’m not surprised he got a spot but the newer refs seem to be doing ok so far compared to the vets. We’ll see what the next round has in store for us…….

  5. Steratore has not done conference championship games the last two years. He did Packers-Cowboys divisional last year and NFC Championship the year before.

  6. Vikings got totally screwed!!! With Coleman they will be penalized at least 12 times!! Guaranteed!! Look at his record when he officiated Vikings games. He definitely has a vendetta against the Vikings.

  7. Its terrible that Steratore gets a playoff game this year. Im interested to see which ref gets left out now. I hope Wrolstad gets a game. His crew did well this year imo and was deserving of one. I also agree that Coleman should have gotten a better assignment.

  8. Hope Gene can make it from his college hoops assignment on Saturday and get to D.C. on time. Maybe Maryland or Georgetown are playing at home early Saturday for the easy transition.

  9. I’m kind of curious as to how Walt Coleman’s crew got assigned for this particular game? I mean if there are sixteen officiating crews in the NFL, than a crew should not have to cover a team more than twice in the season, let alone where this is the third game this year that Walt Coleman’s crew has covered one team.

  10. Don’t forget David! Walt Coleman isn’t going to be with his regular crew, none of the refs that is referring this weekend is going to have their regular crew

  11. The vikings have 0% chance of winning with coleman as referee Dan Ferrara you are 100% right.

  12. Didn’t Parry did the last Pit Vs Cin game in Week 14? Coincidence? Oversight? Or is there a method to that madness?

  13. Yeah fuck gene steratore he has cost me so much money and my teams so many games with his terrible calls. Him and his crew need to be booted back to college.

  14. I can’t believe Walt Coleman is still an NFL official, to be perfectly honest. The guy has screwed so many NFL teams in the past and seriously lacks control in most of his games. Ask Buffalo about him.

    I feel bad for Sterratore. His crew outside of Paganelli was really weak this year and it showed in his Bills-Pats MNF game. I felt for him as his crew let him down that game, and most of the year as well.

  15. Steratore was just as bad as his crew Dave. It was quite obvious. Lets hope he replaces college ice hockey over his incompetent football employment.

  16. Actually Sherm! I just checked because every week during the season I post the referee assignments week after week and actually John Parry was the referee for the Steelers vs Bengals game week 14 not Hochuli

  17. Actually Sherm! I just checked because every week during the season I post the referee assignments week after week on Facebook and actually John Parry was the referee for the Steelers vs Bengals game week 14 not Hochuli

  18. I don’t care for the idea of using a crew of officials that worked together during the year. I am more in favor of mixing the crews for the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how many penalties are called this year. Previous playoffs were extremely fun to watch because the games had a flow to them and not many penalties occurred. By keeping the crews intact from the regular season I see some crews wanting more TV time for themselves. The best crews this weekend are Torberts and Parry’s. Wish they could do all the games!!

  19. Biggest surprise so far of the non white hats has to be that Carl Paganelli is only working a wild card game. He has worked either a conference championship or the Super Bowl the last 5 seasons.
    Also, congrats to the 4 second year officials who are working the playoffs. I would imagine that the 4th crew for the wild card games will have 1 or 2 2nd year officials.

  20. Not surprised by Paganelli’s assignment if there are more than 3 Umpires who graded out in the top tier, from which the NFL chooses Conference Championship and Super Bowl officials. With Referees, in their first playoff game the NFL seems to like pairing with a playoff regular U and/or having a veteran R as the Alternate. As an example, in his first playoff game as a R, Bill Vinovich had Ed Hochuli when he was still in his prime as an Alternate. The NFL does not do it whereby #1 works Super Bowl, #2 and #3 are Conference Championship, #1 and #4-#6 are Divisional and #7-#10 are Wild Card. Officials are clustered in 3 tiers: those good enough to work Conference Championship or Super Bowl, those good enough to get a playoff assignment but not beyond Divisonal Round and those that need improvement. The NFL then likes to assign the Super Bowl to those in the top tier who have never worked it before or have not done so in the longest time of all eligible. If more than 3 officials at a position rate in the top tier then some will work earlier rounds. The exception is that if an official ranks as the #1 official at his/her position in consecutive years and did not get assigns the Super Bowl the 1st year automatically gets it the 2nd. When Carl Paganelli worked two recent Super Bowls in 3 years the latter was likely due to him grading out as #1 Umpire in consecutive years.

  21. Good to see Coleman get a playoff game – he’s been on point this year.

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see Wrolstrad get the Super Bowl, although think Hochuli deserves it this year. Morelli definitely does not deserve to get a playoff game this year!

  22. Hope NFL learned a lesson and does not assign anyone from #77’s crew including #77. HE lost control of the Giant/Panther game and HE wasn’t capable of re-gaining control. HE is an overrated official, throws too many flags and is overly technical on his calls. I’d take Steretore or Vinovich anytime over him.

  23. Hey, Dan Ferrara, did Coleman personally throw all those flags in the Viking’s game? I don’t think so – he merely upheld what someone else called. Also, you don’t call “penalties.” You call fouls, which are then penalized.

  24. Hochuli also entered the NFL when Art McNally was Supervisor: his first year was in 1990 (McNally’s last season). Jerry Seeman retired as a referee and beacme Supervisor in 1991. Coleman entered in 1989.

    By the way, it’s interesting that both HL from the NFC Wild Cards (Bergman and Stelljes) also worked the NFC Wild Card games the past season.

  25. Is Parry working the game by himself ? I know he’s good but not that good ! My spies tell me Edgar Camp from Morelli’s crew is an Alternate. At least they’re not shut out.

  26. Glad to see Camp was assigned to a game. After the struggles he went through with his health, he deserves something. Also, don’t blame Morelli for the sins of his crew. He is only the face of the crew and can’t control what the others do.

  27. Torbert’s work has been pretty good this year except for the horrible screw up with the eligible receiver reporting mistake in the Monday night Arizona-Baltimore game.

  28. My referee rankings:

    Hochuli, Coleman, McAulay, Anderson, Corrente, Cheffers, Parry, Blakeman, Wrolstad, Torbert, Allen, Hussey, Morelli, Vinovich, Steratore, Boger, Triplette.

    Thoughts?

  29. I’m very concerned that the the officials continue to have trouble communicating which I feel is the basis to being a tier one from tier two. In the over time game between the Jets and New England that Referee clearly did not follow the procedure. Unless I’m missing something here, his first word was “kick” and not New England you won the flop what do you want to do? Don’t say a thing but wait for a reply. This is what started the confusion, he replied kick with a sense of what did he just ask me.

  30. Hard to believe Bergman received a playoff game after making one of the worst calls in NFL playoff history in Lions/Cowboys game last year. Who makes these assignments? Bergman should have been suspended/demoted after an incompetent call like that in such a crucial game. Instead here he is again.

  31. Where was side judge Scott Edwards (3) on Ron Torbert’s crew in the KC/Houston AFC Wild Card game (1-9-16)?

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