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Jeff Triplette resigns as NFLRA president



Jeff Triplette has resigned as president of the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA), the officials’ union. Vice president Tony Steratore is now president. The NFLRA Board of Directors appointed Carl Paganelli as vice president.

Triplette had been NFLRA president since 2013 after serving as vice president and as a member of its board of directors.

NFLRA executive director Scott Green commented in a news release:

It would be impossible to adequately thank Jeff for his service to the NFLRA membership. Every member of the union is in a better position because of the acumen he showed in the economic and workplace negotiations during 2012. When Jeff informed us last year that he would not be seeking another term as president, I knew that he would be leaving big shoes to fill. Luckily, Tony is absolutely up to the task.

Triplette was vice president during the acrimonious 2012 lockout of officials. He was a key member of the negotiating team that eventually hammered out a deal. He joined the NFL in 1995 as a field judge (now called back judge) and became a referee in 1999 after Jerry Markbreit retired.

In the same news release, Triplette commented:

I have truly enjoyed being part of the leadership of this great organization. I am proud that I was able to fight to protect the rights and interests of our members for the last 15 years. However, the conclusion of this season seemed like the right time for me to step aside and allow others to step up and lead the union.

Steratore is a back judge (number 112) and is the brother of referee Gene Steratore. He has been a NFL official for 17 years and served on the NFLRA board of directors since 2008 and as its vice president since 2013. He saluted Triplette’s service to the NFLRA.

The NFLRA is grateful to Jeff for his time and service. He helped lead the NFLRA during one of our most challenging times – the 2012 lockout – and I am grateful to have been able to learn as his vice president. It’s an honor to have the confidence and support of both Jeff and the Board.

While Triplette is no longer the union president, he still a member of the union and he is still on the roster of officials. This past season he served as an alternate referee in the Dolphins-Steelers Wild Card Playoff.

Tony Steratore worked last season’s AFC Championship Game between the Steelers and Patriots.

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?"