Bellmore native named NFL administrator


A Bellmore native now holds a chief administrative position with the National Football League. Mepham High School graduate Dean Blandino has been named NFL’s vice president of officiating, according to a league press release.

League officials said Blandino’s professional career, which began after he received his college degree on Long Island, led him to officiate premiere games and work on his own business endeavor in the field before he was named to his new position with the NFL.

“Dean has been in football officiating for the past 20 years and has made it his life,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “He is highly respected by our game officials and coaches for his deep and thorough knowledge of the rules.”

Blandino’s football career started after he graduated from Hofstra University in 1993 and joined the NFL for the 1994 season as an officiating intern. After the season, he was hired full-time as an officiating video assistant and then was promoted to special projects coordinator.

Blandino was an NFL instant replay official from 1999 to 2003. During that time, he was chosen to work two Super Bowls and two conference championship games, according to the NFL.

He went on to manage the NFL instant replay program from 2003 to 2009, including oversight of the system’s upgrade to high definition in 2007. He soon became director of officiating and “the number-two person in the department,” officials said, supervising day-to-day operations.

But the Bellmore native left the NFL in 2009 to start his own business designed to help football officials across leagues improve.

Blandino formed a company in 2009 called “Under the Hood,” which provided training and evaluation for replay officials. His clients included the NFL, plus college football conferences like the Big Ten, Mid-American, Pac 12, Big 12 and Mountain West conferences. During this time, he directed instant replay clinics for the NFL and NCAA and served as a liaison to the NFL Competition Committee.

Last year, though, Blandino returned to the NFL full-time to serve as a director of officiating before he was named vice president of the department, focusing all aspects of supervising the instant replay program.

Goodell said in a release that

Blandino’s experience as an entrepreneur and in management roles with the league made him a good candidate for his new job. “Dean is well-positioned to lead our officiating team and ensure the integrity and continued improvement of NFL officiating,” he said.

Blandino will report to NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson.