Gene Steratore

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Gene Steratore
Born (1963-02-08) February 8, 1963 (age 51)
Washington, Pennsylvania
Nationality  United States

NFL official (2003–present)

NCAA official (1995–present)

Gene Steratore is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since 2003. He entered the league as a field judge and was promoted to referee at the start of the 2006 season, one of two new referees (Jerome Boger the other) for that season, following the retirements of Bernie Kukar and Tom White. He wears uniform number 114. Steratore is currently one of two NFL referees (Bill Vinovich is the other) who also officiate National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's basketball games, which he has done since 1997.[1]



Steratore took over briefly as referee during a regular season game on December 28, 2003, between the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants after Bernie Kukar, the crew chief, was injured during a play in which he was hit in the back by the Giants' Clarence LeBlanc after a blocked punt.[2]

Steratore worked his first NFL playoff game as a referee between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers on January 10, 2009, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Exactly one year later, he refereed the Baltimore Ravens' 33–14 victory over the New England Patriots in an American Football Conference (AFC) Wild Card match at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.[3]

Steratore's 2014 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Bruce Stritesky, head linesman Wayne Mackie, line judge Gary Arthur, field judge Bob Waggoner, side judge Mike Weatherford, and back judge Dino Paganelli.[4]

Steratore was involved in a controversial instant replay call during Week 1 of the 2010 NFL season between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago. Late in the fourth quarter, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson caught what was originally ruled as the winning touchdown for Detroit. However, Steratore reviewed the play and overturned the call to an incomplete pass, ruling that Johnson lost control of the ball while going to the ground before he "completed the process of completing the catch".[5] The rule applied in this situation states, "If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone."[5] Despite speculation that the Calvin Johnson ruling was incorrect, Steratore was supported by the National Football League and backed by its former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira on Fox Sports. The rule has since been referred to as the "Calvin Johnson Rule".[6]

Steratore was selected as the first referee to officiate a game following the 2012 NFL referee lockout on September 27, 2012,[7] a Thursday night contest between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. The Baltimore crowd cheered Steratore and his crew as they entered the field.

Steratore was named as referee for the NFC Championship game on January 19, 2014, in Seattle between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.[8]


Steratore is also a college basketball referee, mainly working in the Northeast. He has officiated in the Big Ten Conference, Big East Conference, and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and the Colonial Athletic Association.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Steratore lives in his native Pittsburgh suburb of Washington, Pennsylvania.[9] Gene has an older brother, Tony, also an NFL official, who is a back judge currently assigned to Jerome Boger's officiating crew. His father, Gene Steratore Sr., was a college football official and basketball referee.[10]

Steratore and his brother are the co-owners of Steratore Sanitary Supplies in Washington, Pennsylvania, outside of his NFL officiating duties.[11][12]


External links[edit]