Sources: Anderson done as NFL officiating chief

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NFL officiating chief Walt Anderson is stepping aside amid a larger reorganization of the league’s officiating department, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

Anderson, who retired as a referee in 2019, initially joined the officiating department as its senior vice president of training and development. Under the initial vision, he was to work alongside two other executives — Perry Fewell and Al Riveron — to lead certain segments of the department. Ultimately, however, Anderson unofficially ascended to the top leadership position. Riveron left his full-time role in 2021, while Fewell is expected to continue in his role.

Anderson is expected to remain with the league in some capacity, and his job shift will eliminate the nepotism rules that prevented the NFL from hiring his son, Derek, as an official last year.

The NFL has not confirmed Anderson’s decision or named a replacement. Sources have said over the past year that the league favors having former coaches, such as Fewell, in its officiating leadership group. It quietly hired longtime assistant coach George Stewart in 2023 to serve as vice president of training and development. first reported on Anderson’s move.

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