Football Zebras exclusive
Football Zebras has confirmed the assignment of referees Carl Cheffers and Bill Vinovich to the Conference Championship games on Sunday. Vinovich will be in Kansas City for the AFC showdown between the Bengals and Chiefs; Cheffers will be in Los Angeles for the NFC clash between the 49ers and Rams. This weekend’s Conference Championships will feature the last two Super Bowl referees.
All times are Eastern.
For the Conference Championships, a full crew of alternate officials has been assigned, in addition to an alternate replay official. This will also be used for the Super Bowl, after a full alternate crew for the later round playoff games was instituted last season.
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).
Scheduled assignments are subject to change.
Sunday, Jan. 30
AFC Championship Game: Bengals at Chiefs, 3:00 p.m. CBS Para+
Bill Vinovich will head the crew in the AFC Championship Game.
Vinovich is a perennial top-tier official, as for 7 of the last 8 postseasons, he has earned an assignment to either the Conference Championship or the Super Bowl. He is the first referee to accomplish that feat since Jerry Markbreit worked 5 Conference Championships and 2 Super Bowls in the 8-year span from 1989 to 1996.
Vinovich, 60, is a certified public accountant from Lake Forest, Calif. Vinovich also served as a supervisor of NFL officials for 5 seasons, a position he held while sidelined from on-field officiating due to a near-fatal heart condition. Vinovich was hired by the NFL in 2001 making this his 16th season on the field. He is now completing his 13th season, nonconsecutive, as referee.
Prior to joining the NFL, Vinovich officiated in the Mountain West Conference and was a referee in the CFL from 1994 to 1998 when the Canadian circuit included teams in the United States. He also worked in the Arena Football League, and officiated in ArenaBowl XIV prior to jumping to the NFL.
This is Vinovich’s 16th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, 6 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XLIX and LIV. Both of his Super Bowl assignments were as a referee.
|R||52||Bill Vinovich||16||San Diego||certified public accountant|
|U||11||Fred Bryan||13||Martin||Northern Iowa||superintendent, juvenile correctional facility|
|DJ||134||Ed Camp||22||Hochuli||William Paterson||physical education teacher|
|LJ||45||Jeff Seeman||20||Cheffers||Minnesota||brokerage sales|
|FJ||31||Mearl Robinson||5||Hill||Air Force||retired U.S. Air Force instructor|
|BJ||78||Greg Meyer||20||Clark||Texas Christian||banker|
|RO||Mark Butterworth||5||Vinovich||Walsh||non-profit COO|
|RA||Larry Hanson||2||Allen||California-San Diego||health and safety|
|ALT||R||Shawn Hochuli||8||Claremont||financial advisor|
|ALT||U||Roy Ellison||19||Hill||Savannah State||IT engineer|
|ALT||DJ||Patrick Holt||3||Vinovich||North Carolina State||IT manager|
|ALT||LJ||Rusty Baynes||12||Boger||Auburn-Montgomery||general manager, safety services|
|ALT||FJ||Ryan Dickson||5||Torbert||Utah||commercial real estate developer|
|ALT||SJ||Dale Shaw||9||Kemp||Allegheny||pharmaceutical sales|
|ALT||BJ||Todd Prukop||13||Corrente||Cal State-Fullerton||medical sales representative|
NFC Championship Game: 49ers at Rams, 6:30 p.m. Fox
Carl Cheffers is the referee for the NFC Championship Game.
Cheffers is in his 22nd season and 14th as referee. This is Cheffers’s 16th postseason assignment, including 5 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls LI and LV. Cheffers is fresh off his assignment to Super Bowl LV last season.
Cheffers joined the NFL in 2000 after working five years in the Pac-10 Conference, now the Pac-12. He was promoted to referee for the 2008 season after working 8 years as a side judge. Before his hiring to the NFL staff, he worked two seasons in NFL Europe, and officiated World Bowl 1999.
Cheffers, 61, is a sales manager from Whittier, Calif., where he lives with his wife Nanette.
|R||51||Carl Cheffers||22||California-Irvine||sales manager|
|U||121||Paul King||13||Clark||Nichols College||teacher|
|DJ||6||Jerod Phillips||6||Martin||Northeastern State||elementary school teacher|
|FJ||97||Tom Hill||23||Hochuli||Carson Newman||retired teacher/coach|
|SJ||103||Eugene Hall||8||Cheffers||North Texas||federal agent|
|BJ||12||Greg Steed||19||Rogers||Howard||computer systems analyst|
|RA||Randy Campbell||2||Martin||Kansas State||oil and gas|
|ALT||U||Mark Pellis||8||Torbert||Allegheny||financial advisor|
|ALT||DJ||Mark Hittner||25||Smith||Pittsburg State||investment broker|
|ALT||LJ||Julian Mapp||13||Blakeman||Grambling State||software quality assurance tester|
|ALT||FJ||Anthony Jeffries||4||Corrente||Alabama-Birmingham||medical sales|
|ALT||SJ||Don Willard||4||Corrente||Illinois State||physical therapist|
|ALT||BJ||Dino Paganelli||16||Smith||Aquinas College||educator|