In the latest episode of ‘NFLGirlUK meets…’, I speak with Dean Blandino, Head of Officiating for the XFL, and former Vice President of Officiating for the NFL.
In our interview, Dean shares with me how his career started out, the scrutiny that referees and officials are under today, the Her Turf documentary series, and all about his new brand new role in the XFL.
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About Dean Blandino
Dean Blandino is the head of officiating for the XFL. He previously served as the NFL’s Vice President of Officiating from 2013 to 2017.
Dean grew up in Bellmore, New York, where he played tight end on the high school football team at Wellington C. Mepham High School. He majored in communications at Hofstra University, graduating in 1993.
Jerry Seeman hired Dean as an intern in the NFL’s officiating department, and became a full-time employee after the 1994 season. Dean was assigned to organise instant replay when it was introduced in 1999. He managed the program for six years, and served as replay official for two Super Bowls. Dean left the NFL in 2009, and started a business in California to train and evaluate replay officials. He returned to the NFL in 2012 as director of officiating. Succeeding Carl Johnson, Dean was named Vice President of Officiating the following February.
Dean left the NFL in May 2017 and joined Fox Sports as a rule analyst in June. A year later, he took on an additional role, as director of instant replay for NCAA football; the role has an offseason focus, to allow him to continue broadcasting. Dean was also an officiating consultant for the Alliance of American Football, and is a contributor to The Athletic. He was the executive producer of Her Turf, a 2018 documentary about three female football referees.
Earlier this month, Dean was hired by the XFL to be the league’s head of officiating.