10 Richest Football Referee

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10 Richest Football Referee!! Referees play a vital role in every sport. They are responsible for maintaining order during times when the game can become chaotic. This article will explore the ten richest football referees in the NFL.

Refereeing in the NFL comprises multiple positions, such as the umpire, referee, head linesman, line judge, back judge, center judge, and side judge.

Salary rates vary for each position, with the umpire and referee receiving the highest pay comparatively.

Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas (Source: Newsweek)

While official salaries for NFL referees are not disclosed publicly, it is worth noting Sarah Thomas, the highest-paid female referee, reportedly earns around $250,000 annually as an NFL official.

Let’s get into more detail about the top 10 richest football referees based on their annual earnings and experience.

Quick Overview

The following list is not arranged in any particular net worth order, and all of the referees mentioned are not presently officiating, as some have already retired.

Referee Name Annual Salary
#Walt Coleman $205k
#Ed Hochuli $205k
#Byron Boston $205k
#Clete Blakeman $225k
#Tony Veteri $225k
#Jeff Bergman $230k
#Tony Corrente $230k
#Walt Anderson $250K
#Craig Wrolstad $250k
#Brad Allen $250K

#Walt Coleman

Walt Coleman is a former NFL referee who officiated in the NFL for nearly three decades.

NFL hired Coleman in 1989 as a line judge and was later promoted to referee in 1995. 

Walt Coleman
Walt Coleman (Source: Bleacher Report)

The 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida, was his last game as an NFL referee.

During the final years of his career, Walt’s annual income was roughly $205,000, which included a game bonus exceeding $3,000.

Walt Coleman IV’s son has also joined the NFL as an official from the 2015 season.

#Ed Hochuli

Edward Hochuli is a retired NFL official known for his impressive physique.

He started officiating football games in order to earn extra money before NFL hired him in 1990 as a back judge.

Ed Hochuli
Ed Hochuli (Source: Niners Nation)

In his 27-year career, he officiated numerous playoff games, including two Super Bowls XXXII and XXXVIII.

Similarly to Coleman, Ed Hochuli also earned an annual salary of $205,000, which included game bonuses exceeding $3,000.

Furthermore, Hochuli is a trial lawyer and holds a partnership position at the law firm Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC, based in Arizona.

#Byron Boston

Byron Boston started his career as an official in high school football games.

He joined the NFL in 1995 and has worked in numerous important games, including Super Bowl XXXIV, Super Bowl XLVII, Wild Card, and Divisional Playoff games.

Byron Boston
Byron Boston (Source: Twitter)

Boston, who has over 20 years of experience in the NFL, earns a game fee of $1,250 and a salary of $185,000, bringing his annual income to approximately $205,000.

In addition to his role as an NFL official, Boston also works as a tax consultant.

#Clete Blakeman

Clete Blakeman began officiating for college football games in the Big 12 Conference. 

Blakeman was then selected by the NFL in 2008 as a field judge and became a referee two years later.

Clete Blakeman
Clete Blakeman (Source: Referee Magazine)

He has officiated numerous high-profile games, including three conference championships and Super Bowl 50 in 2016.

He earns approximately $225,000 per year from the NFL, in addition to working as a partner and personal injury attorney at a law firm.

#Tony Veteri

In 1992, Tony Veteri was hired by the NFL and wore uniform number 52 at the beginning of his career.

However, he later switched to his father’s number 36 when it became available.

Throughout his career, Veteri officiated in 15 playoff games, including three conference championships and Super Bowl XXXV.

Tony Veteri
Tony Veteri (Source: USA Today)

As an experienced official, he received a yearly salary of $205,000, in addition to a per-game bonus of approximately $1,250, resulting in an annual income of around $225,000.

Apart from his work in the field, Veteri is also a physical education teacher.

#Jeff Bergman

In 1991, NFL hired Jeff Bergman as a line judge and officiated in a game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants.

Prior to his stint in the NFL, Bergman had worked in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe.

Over the course of his career, Bergman has officiated in several Wild Card and Divisional Playoff games, as well as two Super Bowls, XXXI and LIII.

Jeff Bergman
Jeff Bergman (Source: Referee Magazine)

With thirty years of experience under his belt, Bergman currently receives an annual salary of $205,000.

However, he earns significantly less per game, earning only $1,500, which amounts to an annual income of around $230,000.

#Tony Corrente

Tony Corrente is a veteran football official who started his journey in 1995 and retired in 2021.

Corrente began his career in the NFL as a field judge in 1995 before being promoted to referee in 1998.

Tony Corrente
Tony Corrente (Source: Pro Sports Extra)

He has officiated many intense games during his career, including Super Bowl XLI in 2007 and the 2022 Pro Bowl.

Prior to his retirement, he earned a base salary of $190,000 with an additional game bonus of $2,500, resulting in an estimated yearly income of around $230,000.

Outside his NFL duties, Corrente has also served as a social science teacher and baseball coach.

#Walt Anderson

Walt Anderson is a retired referee in the NFL who served in the league for more than two decades.

Anderson was hired by the NFL as a line judge in 1996 and was promoted to referee in 2003.

During his career, Anderson served as the official for many high-profile matches, including four conference championship games and two Super Bowls (XXXV and XXXLV).

Walt Anderson
Walt Anderson (Source: Action Network)

Additionally, he was chosen to officiate in the Pro Bowl on four occasions.

Having worked in the NFL for over 20 years, he received an annual salary of $250,000 at the later stages of his career, which included a game bonus of $3,000 per game.

He officiated his last NFL game as a referee during the 2019 NFC Divisional Playoff match between the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers.

#Craig Wrolstad

Craig Wrolstad has been officiating games in the NFL since 2003.

He officiated games at the high school, college, and in NFL Europe before being hired by the NFL.

Wrolstad was promoted to the position of the referee in 2014 and has worked in a number of high-profile games, including Super Bowl XLVII as a field judge in 2013, playoff games, and the 2020 Pro Bowl.

Craig Wrolstad
Craig Wrolstad (Source: Pats Pulpit)

Wrolstad earns an annual salary of around $250,000, which includes all his game bonuses.

Apart from the NFL, he is a high school athletic director at Seattle Christian School.

#Brad Allen

Brad Allen began his career as a football official, starting at the high school level and then moving on to college football.

In 2014, Allen was hired as an NFL referee and debuted in a game between the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills.

Brad Allen
Brad Allen (Source: NBC Sports)

He has served as an official in several significant games, such as the 2007 Motor City Bowl, the 2009 International Bowl, the 2012 Rose Bowl, and the 2014 Sugar Bowl. 

Allen is regarded as one of the highest-paid referees in the NFL, earning an annual salary above $250,000, including game bonuses.

In addition to his role in the NFL, Allen holds two other positions – he is an executive director for N.C. Senior Games and serves as the CEO of a non-profit organization.


We have now concluded our rundown of the ten richest football referees.

While we acknowledge that some notable referees may not have made the cut in our top 10 richest football referees, we hope you found our list informative.

Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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Suyash Shrestha
Suyash Shrestha

Suyash Shrestha

Suyash Shrestha is a versatile editor and writer with a profound appreciation for the power of storytelling in sports journalism. With a keen understanding of audience interests and preferences, he crafts compelling narratives that engage, inform, and inspire readers.


Content Strategy Research Guru


  • Suyash has led comprehensive coverage of major sporting events, delivering real-time updates, analysis, and highlights.
  • He pioneers fan engagement initiatives such as interactive polls, trivia contests, and virtual watch parties.


Passionate about sports, Suyash continually strives to deliver content that captivates and inspires readers, making him a trusted voice in the world of sports media.

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