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Pioneer referee Riveron named new officiating boss

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | The first Hispanic referee in NFL history, Alberto Riveron, was named as the league's new senior vice president of officiating on March 10, 2017

NEW YORK (AFP) - 

Alberto Riveron, the first Hispanic referee in NFL history, was named Wednesday as the league's new senior vice president of officiating, replacing Dean Blandino, who stepped down last month.

Riveron spent the past four seasons as senior director of officiating, Blandino's top assistant, and had served as an on-field NFL official from 2004 to 2012, the last four of those years as a referee.

"Al has done a terrific job as a key member of our officiating staff for the past four seasons," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Prior to that, Al was an outstanding on-field official who earned the respect of his fellow officials, as well as coaches and players alike."

Blandino had been the NFL's officiating boss since 2013 when he stepped down on April 14.

Russell Yurk, an NFL replay veteran of seven years and a former US college and high school referee, was named vice president of replay and administration.

Wayne Mackie, an NFL official with a decade of experience, also was added as vice president of officiating evaluation and development -- a department that grading referees weekly. Both report to Riveron, who reports to Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations.

© 2017 AFP