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The Secret Life of NFL Referees

For the majority of officials, being a referee is only their side job

When the highly debated National Football League referee strike ended in late September, the game officials returned to the field—and found fans regarding them with newfound curiosity. Who are these guys? As it turns out, 90 percent hold down full-time second jobs. Learn the real occupations of five NFL referees: 

Ed Hochuli
NFL Official since 1990
Primary Occupation: Civil litigator at a Phoenix law firm. FYI: He’s run 12 marathons and is known to have the build of a pro-athlete himself—Hochuli is 6’1 and 215 pounds.

Mike Carey
NFL Official since 1990
Primary Occupation: San Diego entrepeneur who has founded ski and snow equipment companies. FYI: In 2008, Carey became the first black referee to officiate the Super Bowl.

Walt Coleman
NFL Official since 1989
Primary Occupation: Dairy farmer, operator of Coleman Dairy in Little Rock. FYI: Coleman’s farm produces and distributes more than a million gallons of milk a week. 

Tony Corrente
NFL Official since 1995
Primary Occupation: High school social sciences teacher in La Miranda, California. FYI: During the 2011-12 season, Corrente was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy, yet he worked all but three weeks.

Gene Steratore
NFL Official since 2003
Primary Occupation: Co-owner of a janitor supply company in Washington, Pennsylvania. FYI: Steratore also refs NCAA Big East and Big 10 basketball. 

Photo: Getty Images