NFL Game Officials Set Dan Leberfeld



The NFL roster of game officials for the 2016 season will include three first-year NFL officials among the group of 124, the league announced today.

Side judge ALAN ECK (Big 12), umpire RAMON GEORGE (Conference USA) and head linesman JEROD PHILLIPS (Big 12) will make their NFL officiating debuts this season.

All 17 referees from 2015 will return in 2016 and lead seven-person on-field officiating crews, led by the dean of NFL officials, WALT COLEMAN, who enters his 28th season. Five officials will not be assigned to crews and will work as “swing” officials, officiating with different crews throughout the season.

In addition to the five “swing” officials, there will be more rotation of officials amongst the crews to ensure the most consistent officiating across the league.

Three sets of fathers and sons are included among the roster of officials: Coleman and his son, WALT COLEMAN IV; ED HOCHULI and his son, SHAWN HOCHULI; and STEVE FREEMAN and his son, BRAD FREEMAN.

Steve Freeman and PHIL MC KINNELY are the only current game officials to have also enjoyed NFL playing careers. Freeman played for 13 seasons, including 12 as a defensive back with the Buffalo Bills from 1975-86. McKinnely played for seven seasons on the offensive line from 1976-82, including five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 1976-80.

*Press Release