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NFL adds 13 officials, promotes three veterans to referee

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The Canadian Press
6/26/2014 3:10:14 PM
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NEW YORK -- The NFL hired 13 new officials for the 2014 season and promoted three veterans to referee.

First-year official Brad Allen will join the NFL as a referee from the Atlantic Coast Conference, where he has been a referee for the past nine seasons.

Allen is the first to go to the referee position in his first NFL season since Tommy Bell in 1962.

Allen has refereed several major bowl games, including the 2012 Rose Bowl and 2014 Sugar Bowl. Allen replaces veteran referee Mike Carey, who will join CBS Sports as a rules analyst.

Veteran NFL officials Ronald Torbert and Craig Wrolstad are new referees in 2014, replacing retired referees Scott Green and Ron Winter. Wrolstad has spent the past 11 seasons as a field judge while Torbert has worked the past four as a side judge.

Among the dozen new officials are side judge Shawn Hochuli, the son of referee Ed Hochuli, and field judge Brad Freeman, the son of back judge Steve Freeman, a former player with Buffalo.

Two women, line judge Sarah Thomas and head linesperson Maia Chaka, will work minicamps and preseason games this year. They are in the officiating development program and officiated in Conference USA in 2013.

"Our first-year officials were all among the best in college football, including Brad Allen, one of our new referees," NFL vice-president of officiating Dean Blandino said.

"Brad was an outstanding referee for many years in the ACC and we are excited about having him on the field. Ron and Craig have proven to be outstanding NFL officials and they also are ready to assume the referee position."

The other first-year officials are umpires Mark Pellis and Bryan Neale; head linesman Patrick Turner; field judges Eugene Hall and John Jenkins; side judges Alex Kemp and Scott Novak; line judge Ed Walker; and back judges Rich Martinez and Steve Patrick.

The most experienced officials are referees Walt Coleman, in his 26th season, and the Ed Hochuli, in his 25th.

In all, 119 officials will work in seven-man crews during the regular season.

NFL referee (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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