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Walt Anderson (American football)

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Walt Anderson
Walt Anderson at Falcons at Raiders 11-2-08 2.jpg
Anderson in November 2008
Born c. 1952 (age 65–66)
DeFuniak Springs, Florida
Nationality American
Education University of Texas
(Doctorate of Dentistry, 1978)
Sam Houston State University
(Bachelor's degree, 1974)
Occupation NFL official (1996–present)
Coordinator of Football Officials, Big 12 (2006–present)
Spouse(s) Afshan
Children 5 (1 with wife)

Walt Anderson (born c. 1952)[1] is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1996 NFL season.[2] Anderson spent his first seven seasons in the NFL as a line judge before being promoted to referee for the start of the 2003 NFL season after Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee announced their retirements.[3] He is notable for officiating Super Bowl XXXV. Anderson was also named as referee for Super Bowl XLV which was played on Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium.[4] He wears uniform number 66.

Early life[edit]

Born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, Anderson was raised in Channelview, Texas where his father was a high school football head coach.[3] He played quarterback for his father at Channelview.[3] Later, he played football for Sam Houston State University, where he was a two-time Academic All-American[2] and lettered four years.[3] He graduated from Sam Houston State in 1974.[2]


He is married to Afshan and they have one child together (he and his wife each have two children from previous marriages).[2] He currently resides in Sugar Land, Texas.[2]

Other professions[edit]

After completing his undergraduate studies at Sam Houston, he became a dentist and received a Doctorate of Dentistry from the University of Texas Dental Branch.[2] He retired from dentistry in 2003 when he was promoted to referee in the NFL.[3]

On April 26, 2006, Anderson was named Coordinator of Football Officials for the Big 12 Conference, succeeding former NFL field judge Tim Millis in this position.[2]

Officiating career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Wanting to stay active in football following college, Anderson decided to pursue a career in officiating.[1] He began officiating junior high and little leagues, high school, then eventually college.[1] In 11 years of college experience, he worked games in the Lone Star (Division II), Southland (Division I-AA), and Southwest Conferences (Division I).[2] At the college level, Anderson was scouted by ex-NFL officials who were looking to fill openings at the professional football level.[1]

National Football League[edit]

Anderson joined the NFL in 1996 and, as of 2015, he has officiated in 17 playoff games, including eight Wild Card, two Divisional, five Conference Championship games, and two Super Bowls: Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 (as line judge) and Super Bowl XLV in 2011 (as referee).[5] He was the referee in the January 18, 2015 AFC Championship game, known for the deflategate controversy. Anderson cites Super Bowl XXXV as being his most memorable game.[1]

Anderson's 2018 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Carl Paganelli, down judge Tom Stephan, line judge Byron Boston, field judge Terry Brown, side judge Rick Patterson, and back judge Lee Dyer.[6]