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Russell Yurk jumps from NFL replay VP to the Big Ten Conference

The NFL has a vacancy at the head of its replay operation

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The NFL is looking for a new vice president of replay, following the departure of Russell Yurk in June to take a similar position with the Big Ten Conference.

In his role with the NFL, Yurk oversaw all aspects of instant replay, including training replay officials, being one of the three decision makers in the centralized replay process, coordinating crew schedules, and overseeing officials’ physical health and fitness. He had been with the NFL since 2010. He served as a replay assistant for 5 seasons, a replay official for the 2016 season, and vice president of replay since 2017. In 2021, Yurk went on a leave of absence which lasted for the entire season. He returned during the 2022 offseason.

The NFL’s posting does not list being one of the centralized replay decision makers in the job description.

Yurk’s departure comes at a time of change for NFL officiating crews. In recent months, the league has hired several new referees and replay officials. Now the league must deal with turnover at the league office.

It is unclear how the NFL will handle the vacancy in the VP of instant replay position or what the timeline is for hiring Yurk’s replacement. The league could promote from within or hire someone with extensive officiating and replay experience from outside the organization. The new VP will have a lot to learn in a short amount of time, as the NFL season is just weeks away.

Yurk will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of instant replay for the Big Ten, including training officials, reviewing plays, and coordinating schedules.

It remains to be seen what changes Yurk will make to the Big Ten replay department. The Big Ten is one of the most competitive conferences in college football and Yurk will be tasked with ensuring that the replay system continues to support the on-field officials.

The job posting by the NFL for the vice president of replay training and development.

Job description

The VP of Instant Replay Training and Development is responsible for collaborating with Position Coordinator Coaches, Replay Trainers, and others to ensure consistency of communication to Replay Officials. This also includes developing and implementing pipeline programming to identify potential NFL Replay Officials as well as educational and developmental tools for the MDP program. Additionally, the VP will provide specialized training to Replay Officials based on position and areas of need.

This role will assist with the coordination and content of officiating clinics; recruit, train and develop candidates for the pipeline, and create training materials to provide to Replay Officials based on NFL rules and mechanics.

Responsibilities

  • Attend and assist with overall planning & organizing of NFL Officiating Clinics
  • Attend, work with and advise replay officials at NFL programs and games, minicamps, pregame meetings, training camps, preseason and regular season games as needed and submit reports on respective observations and evaluations.
  • Meet and provide guidance to NFL replay officials on NFL Officiating rules and policies.
  • Participate in weekly review and evaluation of replay officials and replay assistants, analyze trends in individual replay officials’ performances to suggest areas of focus for further training and development.
  • Participate with CBA required feedback on performance to replay officials and assist completion of year-end assessment of replay officials.
  • Conduct regular phone or Zoom conferences and training opportunities for NFL replay officials.
  • Work with SVP and Coordinator Coaches to develop weekly training and instructional videos for replay officials and all 32 NFL clubs, especially related to replay assistance, rules applications and mechanics.
  • Develop discussion topics and suggested rule changes for annual Competition Committee review, including assisting with ongoing review and edits of the NFL Rulebook
  • Communicate with SVP of Training and Development and Coordinators of Officials to discuss and review the performance of NFL replay officials; ensure consistent messaging to NFL replays officials.
  • Forge relationships with college replay coordinators, evaluate and submit scouting reports on prospective pipeline replay officials.
  • Fill role in AMGC on game days as directed by SVP and perform other duties assigned by the NFL Officiating department.

Required qualifications

  • Minimum five years of NFL or Major College instant replay experience, having consistently met performance standards throughout.
  • Excellent teaching and training skills.
  • Superior management skills, a strong executive presence, and exceptional oral and written communication skills.
  • Computer proficient: Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook), Internet, and video systems such as DVSport, XOS, or NFL Vision, Zoom and other virtual environments.

Other key attributes/characteristics

  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of NFL officiating rules and game day football operations, specifically in instant replay and application of instant replay rules and mechanics.
  • Ability to represent the NFL to a wide range of audiences including club executives, league department heads, players, coaches, game officials and fans.
  • Proven ability to build strong relationships and establish credibility in key internal and external relationships.
  • Extensive travel during certain times of the year, and potentially in season during weekends.

Travel

  • This role requires extensive travel during certain times of the year, and potentially in season during weekends.

Salary/pay range

  • This job posting contains a pay range, which represents the range of salaries or hourly rates that the NFL believes, in good faith, at the time of this posting that it might be willing to pay for the posted job in the location(s) specified. The NFL expects to hire for this position near the middle of the range. Only in truly rare and exceptional circumstances, where an external candidate has experience, credentials or expertise that far exceed those required or expected for the position, would the NFL consider paying a salary or rate near the higher end of the range.
  • The NFL maintains a Flexible Workplace Policy that provides members of our workforce with opportunities to periodically work from a location of their choice, while maintaining a priority on in-person work at an NFL office, which enables us to more effectively collaborate, connect and build a workplace culture that will drive our continued success.
  • The NFL is committed to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment that reflects our incredibly diverse fan base. We provide an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all employees and applicants without regard to status as protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Chris currently resides in Michigan and has been a sports official for over 30 years. By day, he works in research in the automotive industry. By night, when he isn't watching his kids play sports, he officiates high school football, softball, and basketball while nerding out on all things related to officiating.

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