NFL’S FIRST HISPANIC REFEREE TO JOIN NFL OFFICIATING DEPARTMENT
Alberto Riveron, a nine-year veteran NFL game official and the league’s first Hispanic referee, has been named NFL senior director of officiating.
Riveron will report to Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino. As the number-two person in the department, Riveron will supervise multiple aspects of the NFL’s officiating operations.
Among his responsibilities, Riveron will oversee the NFL Instant Replay Program and assist Blandino in assignment and evaluation of officials, assigning individual officials to crews and crews to games, overseeing the evaluation process of officials and crews, and developing and distributing weekly training videos and other materials to improve accuracy and consistency. Riveron will join Blandino in working closely with the NFL Competition Committee to develop proper on-field officiating practices for rule changes and “points of emphasis”.
“Al did a tremendous job as a referee and was quickly able to earn the respect of the players and coaches,” Blandino said. “His on-field experience will be an asset for us as we strive to improve the consistency and quality of our officiating program.”
Riveron made his NFL debut as a side judge in 2004 before being promoted to referee in 2008, earning the distinction as the NFL’s first Hispanic referee. He officiated in six playoff games, including serving as the referee in the AFC Championship Game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots following the 2011 season. Riveron’s final on-field assignment was as the referee for the Wild Card playoff game this past season between the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans.
A native of Cuba, Riveron moved to Miami at age five with his family and developed a passion for the game. He began as an official in local youth leagues in 1977. He made his collegiate officiating debut in 1990, working primarily in the Big East and Conference USA before joining the NFL officiating ranks.
Since 2004, Riveron has worked as an assistant to the Conference USA supervisor of officials, aiding in the grading, training and evaluation of the conference’s on-field officials. Riveron, who spent 13 years as a program coordinator in the Miami-Dade County public schools, has been in a managerial position with the Florida Storm Panel Corporation since 1993, coordinating the company’s work force throughout South Florida and overseeing production schedules, installations and marketing.
Riveron will be based at league headquarters in New York and begin his new role immediately.