Ncaa Basketball Tournament Referee Assignments Bowl

Gene Steratore will be the referee heading the Super Bowl LII officiating team on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. The assignments were officially given to the crew today, and this will be Steratore’s first Super Bowl assignment.

Steratore worked the Divisional Playoff game between the Saints and Vikings, which included a wild finish where Minnesota stole the lead with less than ten seconds remaining. Steratore is also a Division I college basketball official, and worked the University of Minnesota-Penn State basketball game the next day.

Officials in the Super Bowl must be ranked in the top tier as determined by the new senior vice-president of officiating, Al Riveron. Accuracy percentages are a large part of the ranking scheme, but there are other factors Riveron considers. Past practice has allowed officials who have not had a previous Super Bowl assignment, but are near the top rank at their positions, to receive preference.

Steratore, 54, is in his 15th season and 12th as referee. This is his 12th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships. He will turn 55 four days after Super Bowl LI, on Feb. 8. Steratore lives in Washington, Pa., and co-owns a janitorial supply business with his brother, Tony, who is the back judge for the AFC Championship Game.

For Gene, it caps a season for which he will be remembered for the unorthodox use of his penalty card to verify a first down. While this was not prohibited, and was done on at least two prior occasions, Riveron said that foreign objects should not be used in this case going forward.

Steratore was profiled with his crew with an excellent week-in-the-life feature by Peter King of The MMQB in 2013.

The crew has five officials that have worked a Super Bowl before, which is the most since Super Bowl XXXVIII at the end of the 2003 season, when all seven had prior experience. Umpire Roy Ellison worked Super Bowl XLIII in the 2008 season; line judge Byron Boston was assigned to Super Bowls XXXIV (1999) and XLVII (2012); field judge Tom Hill officiated Super Bowls XL (2005) and XLIX (2014); side judge Scott Edwards officiated Super Bowl 50 two years ago; and back judge Perry Paganelli worked Super Bowl XLI (2006). The 7 combined prior Super Bowls is the most since, again, Super Bowl XXXVIII, which also totaled 7 (one each).

While this is Jerry Bergman’s first Super Bowl, his father, Jerry Sr., had 4 Super Bowls at the same position.

The Super Bowl crew is listed below, shown with the number of Wild Card Playoffs, Divisional Playoffs and Conference Championships worked in the last five seasons, and previous Super Bowl assignments:

R114Gene Steratore15Kent Stateco-owner, supply company 1 WC, 2 DIV, 1 CC
U81Roy Ellison15SteratoreSavannah Statetechnical staff member2 WC, 2 DIV XLIII
DJ91Jerry Bergman16McAulayRobert Morrissales executive4 WC
LJ18Byron Boston23AndersonAustintax consultant1 WC, 1 DIV, 2 CC, SBXXXIV, XLVII
FJ97Tom Hill19AllenCarson Newmanteacher*2 WC, 1 DIV, 2 CC, SBXL, XLIX
SJ3Scott Edwards19TorbertAlabamaenvironmental engineer1 WC, 2 DIV, 2 CC, SB50 
BJ46Perry Paganelli20ParryHope Collegeretired high school administrator3 WC, 2 CCXLI

*full-time official, missed one year due to injury

  • Replay: Paul Weidner
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Craig Wrolstad
    • Umpire: Ruben Fowler
    • Short wing: Ed Camp
    • Deep wing: Jimmy Buchanan
    • Back judge: Greg Steed

Image: Chad Young for Football Zebras/Diamond Images/Minnesota Vikings

Football Zebras has obtained the conference assignments of the officiating crews to the 2017-18 bowl games. The Power Five conferences receive five bowls, other conferences receive three, with a fourth assignment rotated annually. All times are Eastern. The conference that assigns the officials for each game is listed in italics. 

indicates officials that were in the 2017 NFL officiating development program.

Playoff games

Monday, Jan. 1

  • Rose Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Georgia  ESPN 5 p.m. — ACC
  • Sugar Bowl: Clemson vs. Alabama ESPN 8:45 p.m. — Pac-12

Monday, Jan. 8

  • National Championship  ESPN 8 p.m. — Big Ten

New Year’s Six

Friday, Dec. 29

  • Cotton Bowl Classic: Ohio State vs. USC ESPN 8:30 p.m. — SEC
    • R — David Smith, U — Russ Pulley, H — Johnny Crawford, L — Mike Taylor, S — Rob Skelton, F — Jack “J” Taylor, B — Grantis Bell

Saturday, Dec. 30

  • Fiesta Bowl: Penn State vs. Washington ESPN 4 p.m. — Big 12
    • R — Mike Defee, U — Robert Richeson, H — Al Green, L — Derek Anderson, F — Joe Blubaugh, S — Lo van Pham, B — Chris Alston, C — Ken Ray, Replay — Jack McDonald, Communicator — Rick Loumier
  • Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin ESPN 8 p.m. —  SEC
    • R — Matt Loeffler, U — Brent Sowell, H — Gus Morris, L — Mike Shirey, F — Bobby Moreau, S — Phillip Davenport, B — Jimmy Russell, C — Chris Snead, Alternate — Lane Thomas, Replay — Al Ford, Observer — Larry Rose.

Monday, Jan. 1

  • Peach Bowl: Auburn vs Central Florida ESPN 12:30 p.m. — Big 12

First week bowls

Saturday, Dec. 16

  • Celebration Bowl: Grambling vs. North Carolina A&T ABC 12 p.m. — Conference USA
    • R — Jay Edwards, U — Greg Adams, H — Gary Calip, L — Joe Stahmer, F — David Sherwood, S — LaShell Nelson, B — Chris Bynum, C — [not listed]
  • New Orleans Bowl: Troy vs. North Texas ESPN 1 p.m. — Mountain West
    • R — David Alvarez, U — Apollo Martin, H — George Shoup, L — Steve Hoslett, F — Scotty Melancon, S — Mario Seneca, B — David Baldwin,   C — Greg Reid
  • Cure Bowl: Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky CBSSN 2:30 p.m. — American
  • Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Oregon ABC 3:30 pm. — American
  • New Mexico Bowl: Marshall vs. Colorado State ESPN 4:30 p.m. — MAC
  • Camellia Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Middle Tennessee ESPN 8 p.m. — Mountain West

Second week bowls

Tuesday, Dec. 19

  • Boca Raton Bowl: Florida Atlantic vs. Akron ESPN 7 p.m. — Sun Belt

Wednesday, Dec. 20

  • Frisco Bowl: SMU vs. Louisiana Tech ESPN 8 p.m. — Sun Belt

Thursday, Dec. 21

  • Gasparilla Bowl: Florida International vs. Temple ESPN 8 p.m. — MAC

Friday, Dec. 22

  • Bahamas Bowl, 12:30 p.m. on ESPN: Ohio vs. Alabama-Birmingham ESPN 12:30 p.m. — American
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Wyoming ESPN 4 p.m. — Conference USA

Saturday, Dec. 23

  • Birmingham Bowl, 12 p.m. on ESPN: South Florida vs. Texas Tech ESPN 12 p.m. — MAC
  • Armed Forces Bowl, 3:30 p.m. on ESPN: Army vs. San Diego State ESPN 3:30 p.m. — Big Ten
  • Dollar General Bowl, 7 p.m. on ESPN: Appalachian State vs. Toledo ESPN 7 p.m. — Mountain West

Third week bowls

Sunday, Dec. 24

  • Hawaiʻi Bowl: Fresno State vs. Houston ESPN 8:30 p.m. — Sun Belt

Tuesday, Dec. 26

  • Heart of Dallas Bowl: Utah vs. West Virginia ESPN 1:30 p.m. — ACC
  • Quick Lane Bowl: Duke vs. Northern Illinois ESPN 5:15 p.m. — SEC
  • Cactus Bowl: Kansas State vs. UCLA ESPN 9 p.m. — ACC

Wednesday, Dec. 27

  • Independence Bowl: Florida State vs. Southern Miss ESPN 1:30 p.m. — MAC
  • Pinstripe Bowl: Boston College vs. Iowa ESPN 5:15 p.m. — Pac-12
  • Foster Farms Bowl: Arizona vs. Purdue FOX 8:30 p.m. — Big 12
  • Texas Bowl: Texas vs. Missouri ESPN 9 p.m. — Pac-12

Thursday, Dec. 28

  • Military Bowl: Virginia vs. Navy ESPN 1:30 p.m. — Big 12
  • Camping World Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Virginia Tech ESPN 5:15 p.m. — Big Ten
  • Holiday Bowl: Michigan State vs. Washington State FS1 9 p.m. — SEC
  • Alamo Bowl: Stanford vs. TCU ESPN 9 p.m. — SEC

Friday, Dec. 29

  • Belk Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M ESPN 1 p.m. — Pac-12
  • Sun Bowl: Arizona State vs. NC State CBS 3 p.m. — Big Ten
  • Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Northwestern ESPN 4:30 p.m. — Pac-12
  • Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Utah State CBSSN 5:30 p.m. — Conference USA

Saturday, Dec. 30

  • TaxSlayer Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Louisville ESPN 12 p.m. — Big Ten
  • Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs. Iowa State ABC 12:30 p.m. — ACC

Other New Year’s Day bowls

Monday, Jan. 1

  • Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina ESPN2 12 p.m. — ACC
  • Citrus Bowl: Notre Dame vs. LSU ABC 1 p.m. — Big 12

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