Super Bowl 2024 officiating crew: Team includes referee from controversial NFC title game

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Bill Vinovich is back in the big game.

The 19-year NFL referee will wear the white hat for Super Bowl 58. This is the third Super Bowl assignment for Vinovich. He reffed Super Bowl 49 between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks and Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. Vinovich was the alternate for Super Bowl 56.

Vinovich was also the referee in the controversial 2018 NFC championship game. The no-call on a blatant defensive pass interference by the Los Angeles Rams has been the subject of New Orleans Saints fans' ire since.

The crew members Vinovich will lead on Feb. 11 are:

  • Umpire Terry Killens

  • Down judge Patrick Holt

  • Line judge Mark Perlman

  • Field judge Tom Hill

  • Side judge Allen Baynes

  • Back judge Brad Freeman

  • Replay official Mike Chase

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Who is Bill Vinovich?

Vinovich, 62, is a third-generation referee who worked his way up to officiating college football in the Mountain West conference. He started as a side judge for the NFL in 2001 and was promoted to an official prior to the 2004 season. For health reasons, Vinovich stopped refereeing on the field from 2007-2011 and served as a replay official. He returned to the field following successful heart surgery in 2012 on a substitute basis. Vinovich is also a certified public accountant and officiates Division I college basketball games.

In his youth, Vinovich was a three-sport start at Canyon High School in Anaheim, California. He played wide receiver for two years at Santa Ana College and two years at the University of San Diego, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Controversial no-call in Rams vs. Saints NFC championship game

With 1:49 left in a tied NFC title game on Jan. 20, 2019, Saints quarterback Drew Brees took a shotgun snap with the ball on the Rams' 13-yard line. Brees threw a pass to Saints wideout Tommylee Lewis, who ran a wheel route out of the backfield. But Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Lewis before the receiver had a chance to make a play on the ball. None of the referees threw a flag for what appeared to be an obvious defensive pass interference penalty.

The play became known as the "NOLA No-Call." New Orleans settled for a field goal to break a 20-20 tie, the Rams answered with a game-tying field goal and won the game in overtime.

"It was a scary situation," Billy Vinovich Jr., Vinovich's dad, told USA TODAY Sports of the immediate backlash that followed. "They had them sneak him out of the hotel and put him in another hotel and change their flights and get them out of town by 6 in the morning.

"The cops stayed with them all night."

The no-call resulted in the NFL instituting a rule for the upcoming season that allowed coaches to challenge pass interference penalties, which existed for only one year.

Contributing: Josh Peter

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl 2024 officials: NFL names crew for Super Bowl 58