List of 2012 NFL replacement officials

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This is a list of 2012 NFL replacement officials that officiated National Football League (NFL) games as a result of the 2012 NFL referee lockout.

Due to a labor dispute between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association, the 2012 NFL season began with replacement officials working the games. These replacement officials consisted of high school or college officials. Some were from professional leagues such as the Arena Football League and the Lingerie Football League. Unlike the previous lockout in 2001, very few of the replacements were Division I referees since the league wanted to protect them from union backlash and to let them continue working their scheduled games during the concurrent college football season.[1][2][3] In addition, many of the top Division I conferences barred their officials from becoming replacements since they employed current and former NFL referees as officiating supervisors.[3][4]

Replacements were used in the first three weeks of the season. Controversy over a game-winning touchdown on the final play of a nationally televised Monday Night Football game in week 3 spurred an agreement 48 hours later between the NFL and its officials.[5] In an open letter to fans, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told fans "you deserve better" than games being officiated by replacements. He regretted an agreement not being reached sooner and the "unfortunate distractions to the game." He continued with "...the new contract will improve officiating and commends the replacements for their dedication."[6]


  • 20 Jim Core – Has experience in the Frontier Conference in the NAIA, and AF2. Currently serves as a middle school teacher for the West Ada School District in Meridian, Idaho.[7]
  • 22 Robert Dalton – An 11-year veteran of Division II and several years of Division I[8]
  • 37 Jerry Frump – Has experience in both Division I and III. Was also a replacement referee during the 2001 lockout.[9]
  • 54 Jerry Hughes – former official for the Eastern College Athletic Conference.[10]
  • 73 Craig Ochoa – Has experience in the Lingerie Football League.[11]
  • 99 Mike Shepherd – Has 10 years of experience in Division III.[12]
  • 131 Jim Winterberg – Has worked Football Championship Subdivision college games.[11]
  • 133 Gerald Wright – an online biography says he previously has refereed games in the Mountain West and Western Athletic conferences.[13]


Head Linesmen[edit]

  • 2 Kevin Akin – Worked 6 years in Division II. In both Lonestar Conference and Mid-America Conference.[14]
  • 10 Wayne Bernier – Officiates six-man high school football in Amarillo, Texas.[15]
  • 77 Mike Peek—Served as a replacement official during the 2001 NFL officials' strike.[16]
  • 129 Mike Wilmoth – A high school social studies teacher and baseball coach from Wellington, Kan. His bio says he has worked as a high school, college and arena league referee.[13]

Line Judges[edit]

  • 118 Alvin Thomas – a member of the Central Florida Officials Association and last fall was assigned to a crew that worked high school playoff games.[13]

Side Judges[edit]

  • 26 Lance Easley – best known for his controversial ruling on the final play of the 2012 Green Bay Packers–Seattle Seahawks game on September 24, 2012.[17]
  • 110 Brian Stropolo – Before the Week 2 game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, Stropolo was removed from his role for the game after it was revealed that he was a Saints fan.[18]
  • 111 Dwayne Strozier – Has worked Division III football for 12 years. So. Cal. Football Association (Junior College)[14]

Field Judges[edit]

  • 105 Rusty Spindel – 25 years prior experience in BCS (Division I) conferences. He officiated in the umpire position as early as 1992 in the Big East. Apparently retired from C-USA in 2004.[14] Longtime official in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, working several state championship games.
  • 122 George Trout – As recently as last year, he was working as an official in the collegiate I-AA Northeast Football Conference.[13]
  • 139 Henry Zaborniak – Assistant Commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.[19]

Back Judges[edit]

  • 84 Derrick Rhone-Dunn – Has worked Arena Football games. Also has officiated high-profile collegiate games, including the 2007 Sugar Bowl[20]
  • 98 Aaron Schrein – a high school teacher who has worked as a referee in the Patriot League[13]
  • Mark Wetzel – So. Cal. Football Association (Junior College). Worked Division II for 5 years.[14]

See also[edit]

  • List of NFL officials


  1. Murphy, Brian (August 4, 2012). "Minnesota Vikings, NFL turning to replacement officials, for better or worse". Pioneer Press. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  2. "Refs due back Thursday night". September 27, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Borden, Same (August 27, 2012). "With Referees Out, N.F.L. Stars Throw Flag on Novice Fill-Ins". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  4. King, Peter (July 30, 2012). "A League At The Crossroads". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 13, 2012. NFL refs now serve as supervisors of officials for five major conferences—the Big East, Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten and Conference USA—and they won't allow officials from those conferences to work NFL games. The source said that, in solidarity with the NFL zebras, supervisors in other FBS conferences won't allow their officials to work NFL games either
  5. Battista, Judy (September 27, 2012). "N.F.L. Reaches Labor Deal With Referees". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  6. "Roger Goodell: Fans 'deserve better'". Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012.
  7. "Boise man lead NFL officiating replacement crew". Idaho Statesman. August 30, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  8. "Division II official to head replacement crew for Vikings-Jaguars". Pioneer Press. September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  9. "Officials come from all corners". August 11, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  10. "Saturday Ravens Leftovers: A Motor City Meltdown". August 18, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Borden, Sam (August 27, 2012). "With Referees Out, N.F.L. Stars Throw Flag on Novice Fill-Ins". New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  12. "Bengals notebook: Secondary is shuffled again". August 16, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Jones, Lindsay H. (September 8, 2012). "All eyes on NFL replacement officials while real ones negotiate". Denver Post. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Replacement Refs for Hall of Fame Game". August 9, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  15. "NFL replacement official: 'You are there to do a job'". Amarillo Globe-News. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  16. Ben Austro, "Referee temps have '01 scab experience",, August 9, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  17. "Tutor says replacement ref who called TD not ready for Division I". USA Today. September 25, 2012.
  18. "NFL removes replacement ref for being Saints fan - NFL -". September 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  19. "OHSAA Commissioners and Directors". Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  20. "NCAA Football Bowl Officials". Retrieved September 18, 2012.

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