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NFL names Alberto Riveron new head of officiating

NEW YORK — The NFL has promoted Alberto Riveron to its head of officiating.

Riveron was the senior director of officiating under Dean Blandino, who left the NFL last month.

A nine-year game official and former referee, Riveron was born in Cuba. He moved with his family to Miami at age 5, began as an official in local youth leagues in 1977 and made his college officiating debut in 1990. He joined the NFL in 2004 and became the league’s first Hispanic referee in 2008.

Riveron came off the field following the 2012 season to join the league office.

“Al has done a terrific job as a key member of our officiating staff for the past four seasons,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Prior to that, Al was an outstanding on-field official who earned the respect of his fellow officials, as well as coaches and players alike.”

In further officiating moves Wednesday, the league appointed Russell Yurk vice president of instant replay and administration. Wayne Mackie was appointed VP of officiating evaluation and development.

Yurk will direct the league’s instant replay operations at New York headquarters on game days and oversee all instant replay-related personnel. He also will handle scheduling, logistics and the training and development of instant replay personnel.

Yurk spent the past seven seasons as an NFL instant replay official after working as a high school and college on-field official for 10 seasons.

Mackie, a 10-year veteran game official, will manage the weekly crew evaluations of on-field officials, the staff of officiating supervisors and trainers, and the management of the NFL’s officiating development program. Mackie entered the NFL in 2007 as a head linesman. He has officiated in eight playoff games, including serving as head linesman at the Super Bowl in 2016.

“To have Al leading our officiating department, and then to add talented, knowledgeable instant replay and officiating experts like Russell and Wayne, is a tremendous positive for us as we look forward to the 2017 season,” Goodell said.

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