CANTON, Ohio — As the USFL prepares to kick off Week 2 in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the league received some welcome news from the NFL — nine USFL game officials were selected Wednesday to officiate games for the upcoming 2023 NFL season.
With nearly all 48 USFL officials participating in the NFL Officiating Development Program, the close relationship between the two leagues continues to benefit fans by improving football officiating.
"Nine of 12 new NFL officials coming from the USFL shows that our leagues share the same exacting standards of officiating," said Mike Pereira, USFL Head of Officiating. "We’re proud that in just two years, the NFL has selected 17 of its 22 new officials from the USFL. It demonstrates that our close relationship benefits everyone, especially for football fans."
According to the NFL Officiating announcement, here are the nine USFL Officials selected by the NFL, along with their college conference affiliation:
- Referee (10), James Carter, SEC
- Umpire (42), Scott Campbell, Big 12
- LJ (58), Walter Flowers, SEC
- LJ (17), Brett Bergman, Big Ten
- FJ (56), Jason Ledet, Big 12
- SJ (98), Frank Steratore, Big Ten
- BJ (13), Martin Hankins, SEC
- BJ (11), Tyree Walton, Big 12
- DJ (16), Brian Sakowski, ACC
Last year during the USFL’s first season, the NFL selected eight officials — this group included Robin DeLorenzo, who became just the third female official to join the NFL. Now in its second season, the USFL officiating staff includes seven women.
While Pereira leads the USFL Replay Command Center in Los Angeles, Pac-12 referee Steve Strimling returns for his second year as the USFL Coordinator of Officiating. Former NFL official Ronnie Baynes is the USFL Game Supervisor.
The USFL uses the same seven-person crew as the NFL (referee, umpire, down judge, line judge, field judge, side judge, back judge). For its second season now at four host stadiums in Canton, Detroit, Birmingham, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee, the USFL has 48 officials divided into six crews.
More on the USFL from FOX Sports:
- USFL 2023: How to watch, team previews, best players
- The full week-by-week 2023 USFL schedule
- USFL Week 1 power rankings
- Five potential USFL MVP candidates to keep an eye on ahead of 2023 season
- Takeaways from the Breakers win over the Maulers
- Takeaways from the Panthers win over the Gamblers
- Takeaways from the Stallions win over the Generals
- Takeaways from the Stars win over the Showboats