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Officials For The 2017 NFL Season: Roster Released

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Roster Of Officials For 2017 Season

On Thursday, June 29th, the National Football League announced the roster of game officials for the upcoming 2017 season. Among the 124  members, eight are first-year NFL officials. Additionally, all 17 referees from 2016 are returning this year.

Rookies And Referees

Making their NFL officiating debuts this season will be Brian Bolinger, Mike Carr and Steve Woods, Big Ten; David Oliver and Brad Rogers, SEC; Ryan Dickson and Mearl Robinson, Pac-12; and Danny Short, ACC. Bolinger, Carr, and Short will be joining as line judges. Robinson and Rogers will be field judges. Woods will be an umpire, Dickson as a side judge, and Oliver will be a down judge.

Entering his 29th season, Walt Coleman, the dean of NFL officials, will be leading the 17 returning referees from 2016. The returning referees will lead seven-person on-field officiating crews.

Instant Replay

Each of the 17 on-field officiating crews will have an instant replay official, including Terri Valenti. In fact, Valenti becomes the first female replay official in league history. Prior to her promotion, Terri served as a replay communicator from 2012-15 and as a replay assistant in 2016. Valenti has also served as an on-field official at the high school, collegiate and professional level (United Football League and Arena Football League) in addition to various international football leagues.

Unassigned Officials And Rotation

There will be five officials from the group of 124 that will not be assigned to a specific crew. The unassigned officials will work with different crews throughout the 2017 season. To ensure the most consistent officiating across the league, there will be more rotation of officials among the crew.


In an effort to not only balance the needs of the officiating staff, but also capitalize on the strengths of individual officials, the league has twelve officials working at new positions this season. There will also be a change to the position of “head linesman”. Beginning this year, the position will now be known as “down judge”. With the revised position title, the league NFL is able to eliminate the gender-based classification. Also, the title of “down judge” depicts the primary responsibility of the role more accurately — ensuring the correct down and distance.

Unique Officials

This season we will see three sets of fathers and sons officiating. Among those sets are Walt Coleman and his son, Walt IV; Steve Freeman and his son, Brad; and Ed Hochuli and his son, Shawn. In addition, we will see four sets of brothers officiating. These include Allen and Rusty Baynes; Carl, Dino and Perry Paganelli; Jeff and Jerry Bergman; and Gene and Tony Steratore.

Two more unique members of the 2017 officiating staff are Phil McKinnely and Steve Freeman. Not only is Steve a part of the father and son sets, he joins McKinnely as the only officials to have also had NFL playing careers. Freeman had a 13-year career in the NFL, 12 of those years were spent as a Buffalo Bills defensive back (1975-86). McKinnely had a 7-year career that included five seasons on the offensive line for the Atlanta Falcons from 1976-80.

Complete 2017 NFL Roster Of Officials

In the images below you can view the complete 2017 NFL roster of officials. The list includes the crew assignment, however, that is subject to changes throughout the season due to injury, illness, scheduling conflicts, or other reasons.