Umpire Tra Blake, who will be entering his third season as an NFL official in 2022, has been promoted to the referee position, to replace 27-year veteran referee Tony Corrente. The announcement was posted on Twitter by the NFL Officiating account.
In his rookie season in 2020, he served as a swing field judge, meaning he would work with a different crew each week. Blake then moved in his second season to an umpire, as a member of Carl Cheffers’ crew. Ineligible for a postseason assignment in his first year by rule, he was the alternate umpire for the NFC Wild Card Playoff between the Eagles and Buccaneers. Blake is the first official to be promoted to referee since Land Clark in 2020. The three referees promoted most recently — Blake, Clark, and Brad Rogers — were all promoted in their third NFL season.
Blake was able to ascend to the referee position, despite competition from presumed frontrunners Jonah Monroe and Don Willard. Blake was always in the conversation, but his promotion came sooner than expected.
Previously, Blake worked in the Atlantic Coast Conference as a referee. He was the referee of the 2019 Liberty Bowl, the bowl game in which the Navy Midshipmen defeated the Kansas State Wildcats.
A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Blake lives in Clermont, Fla., and is a quality assurance manager for a pharmaceutical software company.