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Gene Steratore

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Gene Steratore
Born Eugene Joseph Steratore
(1963-02-08) February 8, 1963 (age 55)
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Education Kent State University
Occupation NFL official (2003–2018)
NCAA basketball official (1995–present)

Eugene Joseph Steratore (born February 8, 1963)[1] is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since 2003. He announced his retirement in June 2018.[2]

Steratore 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 being the other) for that season, following the retirements of Bernie Kukar and Tom White. He wears uniform number 114. Steratore was chosen to be the alternate referee of Super Bowl XLIV, which was held in Miami on February 7, 2010, and was chosen to be the referee for Super Bowl LII, played on February 4, 2018.

Steratore was one of two active NFL referees (Bill Vinovich being the other) who also officiated National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's basketball games, which Steratore has done since 1997.[3]


National Football League[edit]

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.[4]

Steratore's 2017 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Roy Ellison, down judge David Oliver, line judge Gary Arthur, field judge Mike Weatherford, side judge Adrian Hill, and back judge Dino Paganelli.[5]

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 game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.[6]

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. After Steratore conferred with the officials he 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".[7] Steratore was supported by the NFL and backed by its former vice president of officiating, Mike Pereira. The rule has since been referred to as the "Calvin Johnson rule".[8]

Steratore was selected as the first referee to officiate a game following the 2012 NFL referee lockout on September 27, 2012,[9] 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, between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.[10]

Steratore was the referee during the NFC divisional playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers on January 11, 2015, when a fourth-quarter, fourth-down catch by Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was overturned using the "Calvin Johnson rule".[11] The Packers challenged the call and after review, it was determined that the ball touched the ground before Bryant completed the catch.[12]

In a game on December 17, 2017 between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders, Steratore took the controversial step of employing an index card normally used for recording penalties to assist him in determining whether the Cowboys had made the line to gain for a first down. His ruling that they had done so allowed Dallas to kick a late field goal in their 20-17 victory.[13]

Steratore was the referee for Super Bowl LII.[14]


On June 22, 2018 Alberto Riveron announced Steratore's retirement. He reportedly will join CBS Sports as a rule analyst replacing former referee Mike Carey.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Steratore lives in his native Pittsburgh suburb of Washington, Pennsylvania.[16] 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.[17]

Steratore and his brother are the co-owners of Steratore Sanitary Supplies in Washington, Pennsylvania, outside of their NFL officiating duties.[18][19]


  1. ^ Salguero, Armando (October 10, 2010). "Referee from Pittsburgh explains fumble ruling". Miami Herald. Retrieved 15 January 2015 – via 
  2. ^ "Referee Gene Steratore Retiring From The NFL". WBZ-TV. June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018. 
  3. ^ Borden, Sam (March 13, 2012). "For Two-Way Referee, It's N.F.L. One Day, College Basketball the Next". The New York Times – via 
  4. ^ "Kukar hurt in Panthers-Giants game". National Football League. December 28, 2003. Archived from the original on February 9, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2006. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots, AFC Wild Card Playoff Game, Sunday, January 10, 2010 – National Football League.
  7. ^ Seifert, Kevin (September 12, 2010). "Like it or not, Calvin Johnson call correct". ESPN. 
  8. ^ Leahy, Sean (March 14, 2011). "NFL will not make changes to the 'Calvin Johnson rule'". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  9. ^ "Gene Steratore's officiating crew to work Browns-Ravens game". USA Today. 2012-09-27. 
  10. ^ Crabtree, Curtis (2014-01-15). "Gene Steratore, Tony Corrente to referee league championship games". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  11. ^ "Dez Bryant catch reversed by 'process rule'". January 11, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  12. ^ Maese, Rick (January 11, 2015). "Aided by overturned Dez Bryant catch, Packers beat Cowboys 26-21 in NFC playoffs". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  13. ^ Tom Gatto (2015-01-18). "Gene Steratore gives odd explanation after card trick in Cowboys-Raiders". Retrieved 2015-01-23. 
  14. ^ "Super Bowl LII Officials Named" (Press release). National Football League. January 17, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "2 Super Bowl officials have ties to area". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Indianapolis: PG Publishing Co., Inc. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  17. ^ Collier, Gene; Bouchette, Ed (2005-02-03). "Super Bowl Notebook: Big Ben's Super star turn is in a commercial". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  18. ^ Lolley, F. Dale (2006-01-23). "Porter set tone early, put pressure on Plummer". Observer-Reporter. Archived from the original on August 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  19. ^ It's Not a Brother Thing Archived November 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

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