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Adam Savoie is the referee for the UFL Championship Game

ACC referee and 5-time spring league official brings his crew to the unified title game



The UFL will have the Birmingham Stallions and the San Antonio Brahmas contest for the first unified title of the spring leagues in St. Louis. However, there is one additional team that qualified for the game.

Referee Adam Savoie brings his entire regular season crew to the UFL Championship Game. The spring leagues have assigned entire crews for their playoff games, and not by mixed crews like the NFL does in the postseason. The UFL doesn’t use a formal grading system, but instead supervisors and evaluators will review every play on tape with the officials. The performance of Savoie and his crew this season did not go unnoticed.

“Adam has been with us, meaning the spring professional leagues, since the AAF,” said Steve Strimling, UFL coordinator of officials, referencing the 2019 Alliance of American Football. “He’s been just great as far as learning the rules, working with the crewmates, getting the college and pro stuff separated. And then you add in whatever spring rules and interpretations that we need.”

Parallel to his work in the spring leagues, Savoie has been elevating himself in the Division I conferences, moving from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference and joining the ACC in 2020. He was a center judge for the National Championship Game in January 2022 and will be entering his third season at the referee position in the ACC this year. In the spring leagues, he was a center judge in the 2019 AAF and 2020 XFL, an umpire in the 2022 USFL, and a referee in the USFL/UFL in 2023-24. He was also in the NFL’s Mackie Development Program training at the referee and line of scrimmage positions.

Strimling added, “This year, we’ve noticed him working with his crew, communicating with his crew, getting all of the in-between-games stuff taken care of, as well as taking what [officiating heads Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino] need to convey to the crew through him. So that’s all been noticed with Adam (A) along the way and (B) especially this year.”

In the end, all the crews performed well this season, but there were those additional intangibles that made Savoie the consensus selection for the title game.

“He’s done his job, he’s done a great job, and this is a great reward for Adam,” said Strimling.

The officiating assignments are listed below, which shows their years in the MDP program, spring pro seasons, and college conference. Playoff experience in the 2023 USFL and XFL plus any bowls or all-star games from the 2023-24 college football season (excluding alternates) are shown. All times are Eastern.

Sunday, June 16, 5 p.m. Fox

      MDP Yrs Pro League Yrs Conference 2023 USFL-XFL Postseason/Bowl Games
R 27 Adam Savoie 5 5 ACC  
U 80 Daniel Gautreaux 5 5 SEC  
DJ 35 John Braun 1 1 Big 12 FENWAY HULA
LJ 90 Darren Deckard 0 2 Big 12 XFL CHAMPIONSHIP FENWAY
FJ 25 Nicole Randolph 4 2 Big Ten POP-TARTS
SJ 23 Raymond Daniel 5 3 Big Ten DUKE’S MAYO
BJ 42 Peter Buchanan 1 2 ACC SUN
RO   Eric Oliver 2 Big Ten XFL 2023 DIV PLAYOFFS UFL 2024 CONF PLAYOFFS
ALT 79 Francisco Villar 3 5 Big Ten DUKE’S MAYO

Villar was a referee this season.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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