NFL adds 2 former players among 6 officials for ’19 season

Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Two former NFL players are among the six new officials for the upcoming NFL season.

Field judge Nate Jones joins the NFL officiating staff from the Pac-12, following an eight-year pro career as a defensive back. Umpire Terry Killens was a linebacker during his seven NFL seasons before officiating in the American Athletic Conference.

The other first-year officials are side judges Dave Hawkshaw and Jimmy Russell, down judge Patrick Holt and line judge Tripp Sutter.

Referees Walt Coleman, John Parry and Pete Morelli retired after last season. Line judge Jeff Bergman, entering his 28th NFL season, is now the longest-serving official.

The roster also includes two other former NFL players. Back judge Steve Freeman was a defensive back for 13 seasons and down judge Phil McKinnely was an offensive lineman for seven years.

Freeman and his son, side judge Brad Freeman, are the only set of father-son officials active in the NFL. Referees Shawn Hochuli and Alex Kemp and line judge Walt Coleman IV also are the sons of former NFL referees. Additionally, three sets of brothers — Allen and Rusty Baynes, Jeff and Jerry Bergman, and Carl, Dino and Perry Paganelli — are on the 2019 roster.

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