Connect with us


NFL hires SEC referee Scott Walker as an umpire

Late hire to add to the bench at the umpire position



Scott Walker working a UFL playoff game.

The NFL has added one additional on-field official to add to the five previously hired. SEC referee Scott Walker, who most recently worked a UFL playoff game, has been hired by the NFL to the umpire position.

With Walker’s entrance into the NFL, the officiating department has added officials from four of the Power Five conferences this offseason. Walker is the second SEC white hat to join the NFL in two years, after James Carter was hired last year and also moved to umpire. Carter is on referee Clay Martin’s crew.

NFL College   MDP Yrs Pro League Yrs Conference Last bowl game
LJ R Derek Anderson 3 3 Big 12 Cotton Bowl
LJ H Jeff Hutcheon 1 0 Pac-12 Reliaquest Bowl
LJ H Brian Perry 4 2 ACC National Championship (2023)
DJ U Robert Richeson 5 2 Big 12 Rose Bowl
FJ S Karina Tovar 2 3 Pac-12 Pinstripe Bowl
U R Scott Walker 0 2 SEC Sun Bowl

Walker will be placed on the crew headed by Super Bowl LVIII referee Bill Vinovich. Veteran umpire Bruce Stritesky will go back to being a swing official who will change crews every week, which he has done for the past 2 seasons. Two officiating sources stated that this was Stritesky’s preference to be a swing official. Prior to Walker’s hiring, there were exactly 17 umpires for 17 crews, as in the offseason, two umpires have left for the league office: vice president of officiating Ramon George and training coach Fred Bryan. Stritesky’s move to a swing official gives the officiating department additional flexibility if an umpire is scratched due to injury or illness this year.

The officiating department has two replay assistant positions it is in the process of filling. In addition, they may find themselves with a late vacancy to fill if an on-field official is hired by ESPN to replace John Parry as their rules analyst. In 2018, referees Terry McAulay and Gene Steratore abruptly left after the officiating “year” started on May 15, leaving the officiating department scrambling in late June to replace them.

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)

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Post a comment using, Twitter, Facebook, or Google account:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.