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LJ John Hussey moves to the referee position

Football Zebras exclusive

The NFL has promoted veteran line judge John Hussey (number 35) to be a referee beginning in the 2015 season.   He joined the NFL in 2002 and has been a line judge his entire NFL career, most recently on Ed Hochuli’s crew.   Hussey was assigned to the Pro Bowl this past season, and in the last five seasons, he worked two conference championships and Super Bowl XLV.

Before being hired by the NFL, Hussey worked collegiate games in the Pacific-10 Conference and in NFL Europe. Hussey was a cornerback at Idaho State, and was a teammate of future Steelers running back and longtime ESPN analyst Merril Hoge.

The NFL has evaluated Hussey to be a future referee for several seasons.   He worked as a white hat while in NFL Europe in 2007, and Hussey has auditioned to be a referee for several preseason games over the years, most recently last summer.   While I have been high on Hussey’s skills at line judge and as a prospective referee, I thought his window of opportunity to be a white hat had closed, especially after Brad Allen was hired straight into the NFL as a referee; however the NFL gave the veteran the nod after Bill Leavy left the field to become an officiating supervisor.

Off the field, the California resident is a director of national sales for a retail and supply chain.   We will learn Hussey’s crew at a later date, but if tradition dictates, expect a veteran umpire to partner with him in his rookie season as a white hat.

Ben Austro contributed to this report.

LJ John Hussey [Craig Melvin/Buffalo Bills]

LJ John Hussey breaking up a fight during a 2014 game between the Bills and Vikings [Craig Melvin/Buffalo Bills]

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Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"

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10 thoughts on “LJ John Hussey moves to the referee position

  1. Way to go Line Judge Hussey It’s your friend Nickie D’Annunzio Here I hope to see you and maybe meet you in Person in Philadelphia at the Lincoln Financial Field Sometime Soon

  2. Congratulations John. The family is very proud of your accomplishments. Keep up the good work. Maybe one day next season we can get together during your officiating one of the Giants games. We are all Giants fans down here. The very best to you… Your cousin… Richie…

  3. Good work John. You deserve your new position. We wish you only the best. This family member is a Jet Fan! Congrats again. Your cousin Diane M.

  4. Congratulations — we always knew you could do it from all the years that you put in. I guess we can’t bitch any more when you do a Niner game. Phyllis and Lou

  5. John,

    Congradulations on your promotion to the White Cap
    and I feel proud that a South Bay Area of California
    guy gets to receive an officiating crew and be a boss
    of that unit. I also was honored to meet you at the
    CFOA South Bay Unit’s Meeting/Field Clinic earlier today
    (Saturday, August 08, 2015, at Redondo Union High School.
    You have motivated me be strong and be confident with your
    “speech” out on the playing field. I have decided to tighten
    my belt and concentrate harder if I can help it. I wish you
    best of luck in the future of the NFL.

  6. Thanks Shaina for the information but
    I already knew that John Hussey did
    receive a promotion from the Supervisor
    of Officials of the NFL. I do appreciate
    the information and I wish John best of
    luck with his new job position as a White
    Cap Referee.

  7. Congratulations John The South Bay is Proud of one of our own in the NFL. Question did you ever own the business Speedy Delivery Service in Limits?

  8. Congratulation Huss. South Bay and South Bay Unit
    is proud of you my friend. I hope individuals like
    you from our SoCal area will become a White Cap.
    Fight On/Right On.

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