The NFL has hired 12 new officials for the 2023 season. All officials are working in the XFL or USFL this spring and have been in the NFL Mackie Development Program for at least one season.
The Big 12 and SEC lead the list with 4 hires each, the Big Ten has 2, and the ACC and Pac-12 have 1 each. The officials that have been hired are shown below with the number of seasons they were in the NFL’s development program; the number of seasons worked in any iteration of the AAF, USFL, and XFL; their current conference and this spring’s league; and any bowl game, conference championship game, or college invitational game they worked this past year.
|MDP Yrs||Pro League Yrs||Conference/League||2022-23 Bowls|
|LJ||Brett Bergman||1||4||Big Ten / USFL||ORANGE SENIOR|
|DJ/LJ||Jay Bilbo||1||1||Big 12 / XFL||GASPARILLA NFLPA|
|U||Scott Campbell||2||3||Big 12 / USFL||PINSTRIPE NFLPA|
|U||James Carter||6||4||SEC / USFL||CHEEZIT SENIOR|
|DJ/LJ||Walter Flowers||1||2||SEC / USFL||SEC CHAMP|
|BJ||Martin Hankins||5||2||SEC / USFL||FIESTA SENIOR|
|DJ/LJ||Dale Keller||3||4||Pac-12 / XFL||PEACH NFLPA|
|FJ/SJ||Jason Ledet||4||2||Big 12 / USFL||CITRUS BIG 12 CHAMP SHRINE|
|FJ/SJ||Sean Petty||2||1||SEC / XFL||FIESTA SHRINE|
|DJ/LJ||Brian Sakowski||3||1||ACC / USFL||NATIONAL CHAMP|
|FJ/SJ||Frank Steratore||7||4||Big Ten / USFL||GATOR NFLPA|
|BJ||Tyree Walton||2||4||Big 12 / USFL||CITRUS MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMP SHRINE|
All in the family
Do you notice some familiar names in the new hires? Brett Bergman is the son of the recently retired Jeff Bergman and Frank Steratore is Gene and Tony Steratore’s cousin. Both Bergman and Steratore have worked in the Big Ten for several seasons.
Since 1966 a member of the Bergman family has been a NFL official: family patriarch Jerry and his sons, Jeff and Jerry Jr. Brett Bergman’s father, Jeff, retired after being the 8th official to reach the 30-year milestone, and his uncle Jerry is also leaving the league this year. Bergman is fairly young and if he has a successful 20-year career, that means there will would be a Bergman officiating in the NFL for over 75 years!
Age is no longer a number
It used to be conventional wisdom that once an official reached age 50, the NFL window had closed on them. Not so in the past few years. The NFL has started hiring officials in their 50s. While we don’t have ages on all the new officials, judging by their long and excellent careers in major college football, we can surmise they might not have gotten hired had the “age 50” conventional wisdom had still been in force.
With officials paying more attention to conditioning, fitness and health, an official can be hired in his 50s and enjoy a good 10-15 year career.
2 thoughts on “NFL hires 12 new officials. Some familiar names join the league”
Congratulations to everyone!
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