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Gene Steratore to retire after 15 seasons, joining CBS

Referee Gene Steratore, a veteran NFL official who served for 15 seasons, and just worked Super Bowl LII, will be retiring from the league, according to senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron. Sources have confirmed that Steratore will become a rules analyst for CBS Sports, a position that former referee Mike Carey held for the 2014 and 2015 seasons before being quietly dismissed in the offseason. This is the third time this week an official has decided to join a broadcast team as an officiating expert, along with Jeff Triplette  at ESPN and, potentially,  Terry McAulay at NBC.

Update, June 26: CBS confirms that Steratore will be their rules analyst for NFL and college basketball games.

Steratore was hired by the league in 2003 as a field judge, and was promoted to referee in the 2006 season, along with Jerome Boger, to replace retirees Bernie Kukar and Tom White. Steratore is the fourth referee to retire following the 2017 season, which is the first time four officials have hung up their white hats in one year,  since at least the NFL merger in 1970. Steratore is the  first referee to retire after working a Super Bowl since Jerry Seeman retired after Super Bowl XXV to become officiating supervisor.

Steratore, 55, worked 12 postseason games, including 3  Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl LII. Steratore lives in Washington, Pa., and co-owns a janitorial supply business with his brother, Tony, who remains a back judge for the 2018 roster. Steratore was highlighted last season when he  used his penalty card  to verify a first down during a Sunday night contest in Oakland. While this was not prohibited, and was done on at least two prior occasions, Riveron said that foreign objects should not be used in this case going forward. Steratore was also profiled with his crew with  an excellent week-in-the-life feature  by Peter King of  The MMQB  in 2013.

The late-June timing of his retirement, along with that of Terry McAulay, is highly irregular. Steratore missed all of the 2014 preseason with an injury, but there is no indication that this is the cause for his retirement.  

Steratore is also a Division I college basketball official, having worked the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.  There is no word on whether or not he is retiring from that position as well. He has  officiating experience  in two of CBS Sports major  broadcast properties. If Steratore also retires as a basketball official, it will be interesting to see if he talks hoops officiating on CBS.

With another retirement, this means another official will be promoted, likely in the coming days, to the referee position. Also, another official will be hired from the college ranks to fill in the slot of that promoted official.

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Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a graduate student at Boston University and has been involved in football officiating for ten years. Cam is in his second season as a high school football official. This is his seventh season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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13 thoughts on “Gene Steratore to retire after 15 seasons, joining CBS

  1. Cam, Dick Jorgensen and Jerry Seeman both retired from the field after their final Super Bowl appearances

  2. Lorenzo, Barry Anderson, Clay Martin and Adrian Hill auditioned for referee last preseason. Fred Bryan also auditioned a few seasons ago. Scott Novak is a former high-level college referee. Rookie officials Don Willard and Land Clark could also be in the mix.

  3. McAuley had a wild card game as an alt. Most of his crew was shut out also except the for Bergman, who had the SB.

  4. Mike Carey was with CBS for TWO seasons NOT one. 2014-2015. Perhaps if you didn’t have a millenial writing the article or had a proofreader you might have noticed it.

    As useful as the blonde female on sports night.

  5. Mark, Scott Nowak would be a fine choice to be a white hat. He was the referee in the Alabama-LSU BCS championship game of January 2012 and previously was referee for many BCS games. I’m sure Walt Anderson will give him a big push with Mr. Riveron.

  6. This reminds me of the early 1990s when numerous veteran referees had to be replaced:
    1990–Dick Jorgensen (died 8 1/2 months after working Super Bowl XXIV)
    1990–Ben Dreith (demoted to line judge)
    1990–Fred Wyant (demoted to line judge)
    1991–Jerry Seeman (retired to become VP of offiicating)
    1991–Jim Tunney (retired)
    1991–Gene Barth (died)
    1992–Tom Dooley (retired)
    1992–Stan Kemp (died of ALS)
    1993–Pat Haggerty (retired)

  7. Good. Replace him with someone who will eject players for assaulting opponents between plays.

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